Your children are watching and paying attention to what you do even when you may not necessarily feel like you are in "role model" mode. If dental emergencies arise, it may be tempting to freak out and say a lot of negative things about going to the dentist or even express your anger for having to do so. However, it is important to be careful with your choice of words about both dental care and the experience of seeing the dentist. 

Don't Talk About Dental Hygiene as a Chore

Although you do want to make sure that your children brush their teeth at least twice per day, it is important to make it seem more like a fun part of the day than a chore. Don't treat it like a miserable, must-do activity, or kids can resist. Instead, simply treat it as a fun daily tradition. Put on music, motivate your children with fun toothbrushes, and plan a fun family activity for after.

Don't Make Dental Promises You Might Not Keep

When you are struggling with your children who may resist the idea of going to a dental appointment, it can be tempting to promise your children that they won't have any cavities or that they won't have to get a filling. However, since you cannot know what the dentist will find, it is important to never make promises that you can't keep, or your children may not trust you in the future when you need to talk to them about going in for most serious treatments.

Don't Paint Braces in a Negative Light

When you are trying to teach your children good dental habits, it may be tempting for you to point out that certain preventative measures can prevent braces. However, many things that create the need for braces are beyond the child's control, and you can never tell when your child may need braces in the future. If you have discussed braces as a negative thing, they may feel cheated and upset if they have to get braces.  

Don't Talk About Dental Procedures as Threats

It can be tempting to talk about the horrible things that can happen if your children neglect their dental care. After all, it is very true that there can be very negative consequences if anyone neglects their oral health care, and it can result in complicate procedures and even tooth loss. However, talking about dental procedures as threats can make a child fear going to the dentist, and that would be counterproductive and unfair.

Finally, keep in mind that your children are watching what you say about dentistry and taking care of your teeth. Try to keep your calm even in dental emergencies. Also, try to speak positively about daily dental habits, and help kids understand how doing good things for their teeth can help them throughout their lives. When you empower kids to take great care of their teeth, you are giving them a great gift they can enjoy throughout their lives.