Children often experience many changes during a divorce, but they don’t need to miss a step when it comes to their dental care. Your children’s oral health is affected by both their daily choices and habits. Regular visits to the dentist’s office is another big part of taking care of your children’s dental and overall health. Here’s how to help kids stay on top of their dental care during a divorce.
Get Duplicates of Toothbrushes and Other Dental Care Tools
Children who are going between two homes sometimes keep track of a lot of different items. When possible, get duplicates so kids won’t have to be consistently packing for each home. When it comes to dental care, make it as easy as possible for kids to stick to the healthy habits you worked hard to teach them. That includes having a toothbrush they love at each parent’s house.
CAlso make sure that your kids have floss, or the interdental cleaning device they like to use, and mouthwash in each home. If you have a dental care chart to track your kids’ habits, consider putting it online in a shared file so they can easily track their habits no matter which house they are in.
Establish Clear Rules for Dental Care in Your Co-Parenting Agreement
Most divorcing parents create some sort of co-parenting agreement so that they can amicably co-parent in the aftermath of a divorce. This plan establishes the ground rules and is specific about how the kids will continue to receive care and live their daily lives. Be very specific and clear about how you expect your children’s daily dental care schedule to be handled.
Since each child will have their own individual dental care needs but also stick to similar healthy habits each day, you and your ex need to figure out how to best supervise your kids’ dental care routine. Young children will need more supervision than older kids, but pay extra attention to kids of all ages during a divorce.
As part of the divorce agreement, be clear about who will pay for dental care appointments and later needs your kids may have. Decide who will pay for braces and other significant treatments children may need in the future. Being clear about these choices during a divorce will ensure that your kids get the care they need as they grow up.
Keep Dental Care Fun
Children who enjoy the time they spend taking care of their teeth are more likely to want to do it. Bring some extra joy to your kids’ dental care routine by offer small rewards when they do a good job of brushing, flossing, and rinsing with mouthwash without being asked. You may even have a little treasure chest of small trinkets that kids that look in to choose a small reward.
Make dental care extra fun by playing upbeat tunes during children’s morning and evening dental care schedule. When you play a two-minute song while they’re brushing their teeth, it helps kids easily determine how long they should be brushing.
Ask Open-Ended Questions When Dental Problems Come Up
Sometimes kids go through a phase where they don’t want to brush their teeth, or they may change how often they want to brush or floss. If a child expresses disinterest in the dental care habits they once followed, ask some open-ended questions to help get to the bottom of the problem.
- Can you tell me how you feel when you go to brush your teeth?
- What do you think will happen if you won’t take care of your teeth?
- Will you make a list of the pros and cons of taking care of your teeth?
- Do you experience pain in any part of your mouth when you brush?
Ask follow-up questions and try to stay calm no matter how kids reply to each question. If a child is experiencing pain when they brush their teeth, your dentist can help get to the bottom of the problem. That way, kids will feel good about brushing their teeth and be able to stay in control of their dental health.
Keep Teeth-Friendly Snacks in Your House
Stock plenty of healthy snacks in your cupboard so it’s easy for kids to grab a teeth-friendly snack when they’re hungry. Some snacks that are good for dental health include calcium-fortified tofu, soy yogurt, celery sticks, carrots, leafy greens, and almonds.
Get a New Dental Insurance Policy for Each Child if You Lose Your Insurance
Unfortunately, sometimes insurance policies change or need to be cancelled during a divorce. While you are figuring out what your new insurance plans will be, make sure that your children won’t lose dental care coverage at any point in the process.
Finally, contact the Valley Oak Dental Group today to make an appointment for a cleaning and check-up for each of your children. We accept many different types of insurance. As the health care specialist for your family’s dental health, we are happy to work with parents to ensure that their kids get the customized dental care they need to thrive.