With children of all ages heading back to school this year, let’s take a moment to focus on how they learn. Every one of us has our own method of learning; one in which works best for us to retain information. Understanding how you learn may be different from how your child processes information. Additionally, one child will probably have a different learning style from the next one. Determining the best way to reach your child in order to drive home important messages is a game of trial and error, but worth the effort in the end. The oral health messages our Polaris dentist and staff offer are important, too. Below are a few ways to teach your child the importance of oral health.
Many of us use visual images to process information. Graphics, videos, images, and notes are great ways to help comprehend a message. Young children need to see the color red to understand red; they need to see a square to know what one looks like. Brushing and flossing is no different. Ask our Polaris dentist or one of our team members at your next dental appointment to show your child how to brush and floss or let your children see your oral hygiene routine. The more children and teens see you do something, the more important it will become to them.
Best case/worst case scenario
Along the lines of visual learning, some children need to see what could happen. Now, we don’t recommend finding scary images online, but sometimes this ‘do it or else’ method will get through to them. People do lose their teeth to oral health neglect. Showing proof may be all it takes to reach the most stubborn of minds. On the other hand, looking at pictures or videos of people with a healthy smile may encourage your child to want to keep their smile beautiful and healthy.
Music and songs
Younger children as well as older ones respond very well to songs. It’s a musical guide that helps them memorize things. These days, it’s possible to find a song online about almost anything so queue up your selection and get ready to learn. Our Polaris dentist has a few favorite songs for brushing and flossing. The best oral health songs last about 2 minutes; conveniently the recommended time to brush your teeth.
The majority of the learning methods all boil down to a trusted authority figure. Your child trusts you and therefore accepts what you tell him or her. The same holds true for teachers, doctors, and yes, even our Polaris dentist and staff. Children learn to respect authority figures by watching how you interact with others and from watching others.
The good news is that with a little time, you’ll soon learn how each member of your family processes information and learns. Patience is key as well as open communication for children of any age. Ask them about school, what their favorite subject is and why. Quite possibly you’ll uncover why their favorite class is what it is and what makes it fun. Use this as a guide to instill lifelong healthy habits for body and oral health.
For more oral health topics and tips, follow us on Facebook or give us a call. We love educating families on oral health!