Teaching personal hygiene to our kids

 I was reading an article a week ago which said that almost 85% of the patients are anxious at the dentist office. Most of the patients can be witnessed shaking their legs in anxiety while waiting outside the dental office. While almost 90% of the patients criss crossed their legs and clenched their hands to the chest on the bed during oral examination. This interesting read up made me cautious on my body language and was prepared not to be nervous at my regular dental checkup this week. I went inside the checkup room with a cool head and got seated in the reclining chair. My dental hygienist was a friendly guy which did not matter to me as he was always little harsh on my teeth with his dental picks.So the moment I saw him picking up his dental tools in his hand, my legs automatically crisscrossed and hands went to my chest at once. Earlier, There used to be a woman who had a teeny tiny voice.She used to be very gentle on my teeth. She will go on talking something  while cleaning my teeth and somehow I never understood a single word. I used to just nod my head. Her voice was like a tinkling soft bell. It was more melodious to my ears. I did not care for what she said for the most part. I was happy listening to her soft sweet voice. Once she finished her examination she would hand over a big bill at the front office. After seeing the bill I would realize after all she did was not singing a lullaby in my ears but giving away all the necessary information regarding the expenditure  I had to pay out of my pocket.

I had been a junk eater until I was almost 25 years old. Okie, I should now say that I am very much ashamed for how and what I was eating all through my childhood and beyond. I had a huge sugar craving. I used to eat sugar with rice, idly, dosa, poori, chapathi,vermicilli, upma, yogurt and water. It took me almost 25 year to realize my eating blunders and get into a fine eating habit of wholesome veggies and fruits. I would never blame my parents. Naturally, like any other parent they tried hard to incorporate food into my diet but no use. So the point is that I had been a junkie all my life and had zero dental issues throughout my childhood. After coming to the States, I went for  routine dental check ups because of my husband's growing concerns regarding his teeth and everyone's at home. I can't believe that I am having new dental issues at every alternative dentist checkup. I brush twice a day, floss and rinse my teeth at nights.  My eating habits are clean and healthy. I do not drink or smoke. Then i understood that the  underlying factors could be the age, stress, cold climate, food, nutrition and etc. It's not just about me. I have been talking to many of my friends and discovering their never ending dental issues. It shows that brushing,flossing and rinsing are protecting your teeth but they do not act like an armor for 24hrs. Wear and tear are naturally unavoidable in the biological process of aging. We can minimize only the corrosion of teeth but we cannot keep them at bay.

My mom is a teeth fanatic. I still remember the days when I would go to shopping with my mum, the first thing she would ask me was if I brushed my teeth in the morning? There were days when I used to go to pick her from the office in the evening and smile at her from a short distance. Upon Seeing me she would come and sit in my scooter and would want to know  if I had brushed my teeth properly. It was not just me. Everyone in my family had gone through this. I have heard my mom yelling at my pet not to smother her with love as nobody had brushed his teeth for days altogether. She would teach us the proper way to brush our teeth within two minutes and showed us the correct angles to reach the inside of the teeth. I am indeed very fortunate to have learnt a lot of personal hygiene from my mom which I am able to pass it on to my children.

Teaching personal hygiene at a very young age is very important.  Start with a basic good hygiene with little kids. My husband and I talked to them about what is good and bad habits. How to take care of themselves. Talking about germs and bacteria  will inculcate the idea of washing the hands before and after eating, playing, after using the toilet, and many more.It was tough to bring my  DS into a schedule for brushing, bathing, grooming ,washing hands and sleeping at the right time. We have been emphasizing on his personal hygiene habits from when he turned three but it was when he turned five, he became a little easier to handle in the early mornings and before sleep. He would literally drive me nuts in the mornings and at nights. Personal hygiene is not about you all the time. It helps to prevent spreading germs to the other person. 

Wearing clean clothes is a must. My DS likes to wear his favorite tshirt everyday. To avoid taking off his  shirt, he would plead me for permitting him to wear a new one over the same old tshirt. Kids are funny. Underclothes have to be changed everyday. Bacteria rapidly multiply in the underwear. A separate laundry bag can be assigned to collect all their dirty clothes.  My DS goes to the swimming class every week. The pool is always crowded and with just two showers, we have never got a chance to enter the shower after his swimming lessons. So immediately after coming from the class, I would send him to take a shower. Once on a busiest day at my home and with a toddler, we both forgot about the  shower. The same night he complained about terrible pain in the finger. He moaned the entire night. The next morning I took him to his PCP and to everyone's surprise, he was diagonsed with Paronychia (nail bed infection) and swimmer's ears. He was later prescribed with antibiotics. This was a lesson learnt for my forgetfulness.

Here are few personal hygiene habits to teach and follow:
  • Body hygiene such as brushing twice a day, bathing regularly, washing hands with soap.
  • Grooming your hair, shampooing once a week.
  • Wearing clean clothes and underwear.
  • Teaching the kids to use tissues when sick, covering the coughs and sneezes.
  • Talking about germs and bacteria
  • Cleaning private parts.
  • Differences between good and foul smell.
  • A  poster showing all good habits in the bathroom will be of a  great help.
Last and never the least is to be an example. Kids watch us closely and follow us religiously. They try to imitate us most of the time. Being an example for your kids has to be the ultimate goal for us. This would help us to upbring a responsible person for the society.


Popular Posts