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5 Fun Ways to Teach Kids Proper Dental Hygiene

5 Fun Ways to Teach Kids Proper Dental Hygiene

Getting your child to follow a healthy dental routine is easier said than done. Kids don’t have the same mindset for hygiene responsibility like us adults. They always have to be reminded when to brush their teeth and explained why they should.

If you’re a parent who’s worried about your child’s dental health, it’s time to offer help to your little one. With the right technique, you can even do it in a fun and hassle-free way. Here are amusing ways to encourage your children to look after their teeth.

1. Brush with your Child

Experts say that children should learn to brush their teeth from the age of two, with assistance from their parents. Good dental hygiene at an early age will fend off plaque, cavities, and many major dental problems they might experience later on in life. A healthy oral hygiene routine includes a full mouth cleaning at least once a day which includes brushing, flossing and using mouthwash.

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The best way to teach oral hygiene is to join your child in his brushing routine. Children look up to their parents. This is why leading by example is the best way to teach them proper dental care habits.

Brush your teeth in front of your child and have them brush theirs too. While brushing together show your child good brushing techniques. By teaching them how to brush properly, they will learn to do it on their own.

2. Let Your Kid Pick His Own Toothbrush

It is customary to change toothbrush at least every three months. This is to make sure that the bristles maintain their scrubbing ability and bacteria don’t accumulate in the brush. You can make this a fun experience by letting your kid choose his own toothbrush. You can opt for movie character themed toothbrush or an electric toothbrush that’s known to be a kiddy favourite.

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When it comes to choosing toothpastes, make sure that you pick kid-friendly ones that’s not too harsh on the mouth or too minty for the child. Kid-friendly toothpaste often have fruity sweet flavors and are mild to gums.

3. Read Tooth-Related Stories before Bed Time

Instead of reading the usual stories before bed, try finding some tooth related stories for your child. Books and stories are fun ways to teach your children the importance of brushing their teeth. For example, the story about The Tooth Fairy is a great way to motivate your child to keep their teeth beautiful and healthy.

Teach your children that the Tooth Fairy collects teeth that have fallen out and leaves small “presents” in return. If the fairy finds a good healthy looking tooth she will reward them for it. This way your child will feel less anxious about losing their teeth and show interest to nurture them as well.

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4. Encourage Your Kid to Dance or Sing While They Brush

Kids love music and dancing. You can include music in your brushing routines to make the moment fun and exciting.  You can use their favourite song to make them love brushing time. Allow your child to dance a bit while brushing their teeth to keep it fun for them. They can even sing along with the tune as they brush.

5. Have a Rewards system

Creating a rewards chart is another way to encourage a healthy oral routine in your child. You can reward your child for accomplishments like brushing every day for a week, accumulating 60 minutes of brushing time, flossing by themselves, and remembering to brush their tongue.

Conclusion

With these fun methods your child will learn to see dental hygiene as an enjoyable thing.  By allowing them to feel a sense of responsibility and accomplishment you’ll encourage them to follow a dental care routine with enthusiasm.

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Featured photo credit: collusor via pixabay.com

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Armela Escalona

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Published on January 30, 2019

How to Support a Working Mother as a Working Father

How to Support a Working Mother as a Working Father

In roughly 60 percent of two-parent households with children under the age of 18, both parents work full time. But who takes time off work when the kids are sick in your house? And if you are a manager, how do you react when a man says he needs time to take his baby to the pediatrician?

The sad truth is, the default in many companies and families is to value the man’s work over the woman’s—even when there is no significant difference in their professional obligations or compensation. This translates into stereotypes in the workplace that women are the primary caregivers, which can negatively impact women’s success on the job and their upward mobility.

According to a Pew Research Center analysis of long-term time-use data (1965–2011), fathers in dual-income couples devote significantly less time than mothers do to child care.[1] Dads are doing more than twice as much housework as they used to (from an average of about four hours per week to about 10 hours), but there is still a significant imbalance.

This is not just an issue between spouses; it’s a workplace culture issue. In many offices, it is still taboo for dads to openly express that they have family obligations that need their attention. In contrast, the assumption that moms will be on the front lines of any family crisis is one that runs deep.

Consider an example from my company. A few years back, one of our team members joined us for an off-site meeting soon after returning from maternity leave. Not even two hours into her trip, her husband called to say that the baby had been crying nonstop. While there was little our colleague could practically do to help with the situation, this call was clearly unsettling, and the result was that her attention was divided for the rest of an important business dinner.

This was her first night away since the baby’s birth, and I know that her spouse had already been on several business trips before this event. Yet, I doubt she called him during his conferences to ask child-care questions. Like so many moms everywhere, she was expected to figure things out on her own.

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The numbers show that this story is far from the exception. In another Pew survey, 47 percent of dual-income parents agreed that the moms take on more of the work when a child gets sick.[2] In addition, 39 percent of working mothers said they had taken a significant amount of time off from work to care for their child compared to just 24 percent of working fathers. Mothers are also more likely than fathers (27 percent to 10 percent) to say they had quit their job at some point for family reasons.

Before any amazing stay-at-home-dads post an angry rebuttal comment, I want to be very clear that I am not judging how families choose to divide and conquer their personal and professional responsibilities; that’s 100 percent their prerogative. Rather, I am taking aim at the culture of inequity that persists even when spouses have similar or identical professional responsibilities. This is an important issue for all of us because we are leaving untapped business and human potential on the table.

What’s more, I think my fellow men can do a lot about this. For those out there who still privately think that being a good dad just means helping out mom, it’s time to man up. Stop expecting working partners—who have similar professional responsibilities—to bear the majority of the child-care responsibilities as well.

Consider these ways to support your working spouse:

1. Have higher expectations for yourself as a father; you are a parent, not a babysitter.

Know who your pediatrician is and how to reach him or her. Have a back-up plan for transportation and emergency coverage.

Don’t simply expect your partner to manage all these invisible tasks on her own. Parenting takes effort and preparation for the unexpected.

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As in other areas of life, the way to build confidence is to learn by doing. Moms aren’t born knowing how to do this stuff any more than dads are.

2. Treat your partner the way you’d want to be treated.

I can’t tell you the number of times I’ve heard a man on a business trip say to his wife on a call something to the effect of, “I am in the middle of a meeting. What do you want me to do about it?”

However, when the tables are turned, men often make that same call at the first sign of trouble.

Distractions like this make it difficult to focus and engage with work, which perpetuates the stereotype that working moms aren’t sufficiently committed.

When you’re in charge of the kids, do what she would do: Figure it out.

3. When you need to take care of your kids, don’t make an excuse that revolves around your partner’s availability.

This implies that the children are her first priority and your second.

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I admit I have been guilty in the past of telling clients, “I have the kids today because my wife had something she could not move.” What I should have said was, “I’m taking care of my kids today.”

Why is it so hard for men to admit they have personal responsibilities? Remember that you are setting an example for your sons and daughters, and do the right thing.

4. As a manager, be supportive of both your male and female colleagues when unexpected situations arise at home.

No one likes or wants disruptions, but life happens, and everyone will face a day when the troubling phone call comes from his sitter, her school nurse, or even elderly parents.

Accommodating personal needs is not a sign of weakness as a leader. Employees will be more likely to do great work if they know that you care about their personal obligations and family—and show them that you care about your own.

5. Don’t keep score or track time.

At home, it’s juvenile to get into debates about who last changed a diaper or did the dishes; everyone needs to contribute, but the big picture is what matters. Is everyone healthy and getting enough sleep? Are you enjoying each other’s company?

In business, too, avoid the trap of punching a clock. The focus should be on outcomes and performance rather than effort and inputs. That’s the way to maintain momentum toward overall goals.

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The Bottom Line

To be clear, I recognize that a great many working dads are doing a terrific job both on the home front and in their professional lives. My concern is that these standouts often aren’t visible to their colleagues; they intentionally or inadvertently let their work as parents fly under the radar. Dads need to be open and honest about family responsibilities to change perceptions in the workplace.

The question “How do you balance it all?” should not be something that’s just asked of women. Frankly, no one can answer that question. Juggling a career and parental responsibilities is tough. At times, really tough.

But it’s something that more parents should be doing together, as a team. This can be a real bonus for the couple relationship as well, because nothing gets in the way of good partnership faster than feelings of inequity.

On the plus side, I can tell you that parenting skills really do get better with practice—and that’s great for people of both sexes. I think our cultural expectations that women are the “nurturers” and men are the “providers” needs to evolve. Expanding these definitions will open the doors to richer contributions from everyone, because women can and should be both—and so should men.

Featured photo credit: NeONBRAND via unsplash.com

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