Pointers for Parents: How Good Oral Hygiene Helps Lessen Absences in School

Pointers for Parents: How Good Oral Hygiene Helps Lessen Absences in School

Children’s formative years are crucial to their cognitive, social, emotional, and mental development. Besides a nurturing home, school is the ideal place for learning, so it’s important to keep your child from becoming a habitual absentee.

There are many possible reasons for children to want to stay home. Some of them are avoidable, some are not. Among those avoidable reasons are toothaches.

According to the latest data, 65.5% of children in Utah develop dental caries (tooth decay) between six and nine years old. If left untreated, these dental issues could cause infections in the tooth canal and gums. Your child could experience pain comparable to an impacted wisdom tooth. But unlike the latter, the problem might not be solved right away by a wisdom tooth extraction by your local dentist. Your child may need to visit specialists in West Jordan or Salt Lake City repeatedly, accumulate absences, and get left behind with schoolwork.

You can prevent such a future for your child (and you can avoid the financial burden as well) by teaching them proper oral hygiene habits.

Here are some things you can do:

Make Brushing Fun

One reason many kids are so averse to brushing their teeth is they feel pressured to do it every single time. While it helps to supervise your child’s toothbrushing so that you can teach them the correct way of doing it, hovering over his or her shoulder and pointing out what they’re doing wrong is not the best approach.

It would be better to brush your teeth together so that you can demonstrate how you do it (e.g., the angle you hold your toothbrush, which side to begin, how hard you brush your teeth). Make it a game of sorts to follow your lead. This is an excellent method if your child is eager to brush, but wants to do it on his or her own, just like a grown-up. Give your child the pleasure while instructing them on the correct brushing techniques.

Let Children Choose their Brushes

Most kids don’t like it when they are told to do something, but when they feel they have a choice in the matter, they’re more inclined to do as you ask. So the next time you go grocery shopping or buy supplies online, let them choose their own brushes and toothpaste flavor. This could make them look forward to brushing their teeth instead of regarding it as a chore.

Make Oral Hygiene a Routine

A one-time demonstration is not enough to make teeth brushing a habit for your child. Repetition is key, and keeping to a schedule will help develop brushing as a habit. Children must learn to be independent with their oral hygiene: they shouldn’t have to wait for mom and dad to tell them to brush. By keeping to a routine and a schedule, kids can learn to care for their teeth on their own volition.

Good oral health starts at home. Even if it’s just brushing and nothing else, you’re already teaching your child habits that will serve them for life. More importantly, they’ll be spared from the painful side-effects of dental infections and caries. They won’t miss school because of recurring toothaches or lengthy recovery periods after major dental procedures and treatments.

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