If you have a child in college, this can be a great time for them to figure out the world and begin adulthood in a safe environment. One thing that you can still help with is making sure your adult child's dental needs are covered. If you can keep them on the road to good oral hygiene and dental health, they will hopefully follow your lead in the future. Here are four tips to ensure your college-aged child keeps up good dental habits even when they aren't living at home.
1. Schedule Appointments at Home in Advance
If going to the dentist is a continually scheduled event once your child is in college, this can be helpful. A great way to ensure checkups are occurring is to set up appointments during holiday breaks or summer months at home, so that you can ensure that your child is able to go. This might also alleviate stress around going to the dentist, since your child can keep the same dentist throughout college, even if they are going to school far away from home.
2. Research Emergency Clinics Nearby
A great way to make sure your child will have access to dental care is to be ready for emergencies before they happen. Even if they are still going to the family dentist for checkups, having a dentist nearby they can call on is important. Research through your child's college or work with your family dentist to have an emergency contact in their college town as well.
3. Presents for Dental Needs
Don't leave it up to your child to purchase toothbrushes, toothpaste, and floss. Send these items along in care packages. On-the-go flossers and travel toothbrushes can make great stocking stuffers too. If your child ends up with too many dental accessories, the worst that can happen is they share these with friends.
4. Talk About Alcohol and Tobacco
While alcohol and tobacco are good things to avoid in general, these can also be bad for your child's teeth, causing staining, cavities, and gum problems. Talk to your child in general about the risks that can come from these substances. If you don't think you will be able to get through to your child, see if your dentist can cover these topics as well.
It might be time to take a step back and let your child be an adult, but this doesn't mean that you can't encourage them to keep up healthy habits such as dental care. If your child can keep up with going to the dentist regularly and with daily dental routines, they will be more likely to make this a priority throughout their lifetime.
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