As a parent or guardian, you’ve got a lot of worry about with regards to your kids. Are they getting the vitamins and nutrients they need to be healthy and strong? Are they exercising enough? Do they have good friends? Are they emotionally stable?

With all these concerns constantly floating around in your brain, it’s completely natural for some things to slip through the cracks at times. And while occasionally forgetting to serve a vegetable with dinner or get outside during the way won’t cause irreparable damage, there are a few habits that, if forgotten enough, can harm your children’s health.

One of these habits that can be easy to forget but is vital to your child’s well-being is dental hygiene. After a long day of refereeing your children, the last thing you want to do is fight them to brush their teeth. However, with just a few minutes a day, your children can create dental routines that will last them their entire life without causing you a headache every morning and night. To help with this, here are three tips for helping your kids care for their oral health.

Get Them Involved By Making Their Own Choices

As you’ve probably already discovered with your own children, being told what to do and when often doesn’t result in great action. This can be especially the case when it comes to dental hygiene. If your child understands that once they brush and floss their teeth that they’ll be sent to bed, it can make the whole process very difficult to complete. Knowing this, it may be a good idea to get your child as involved in the process as possible.

One thing you may want to try is asking your child at which point in the bedtime routine they’d like to brush their teeth. This helps them to feel more in control and could make it less of a fight to get everything done. Also, Colgate.com recommends allowing your child to pick their own toothbrush and toothpaste. They can pick a color or character they love, which will make them more excited about brushing their teeth and less combative about the process.

Don’t Make Visiting The Dentist A Chore

A fear of the dentist is a very common occurrence. However, if your child has never had a bad experience with the dentist, their fears may be coming from your fears. And if your child is scared to go to the dentist, their oral health could severely suffer due to a lack of adequate care.

To ensure you don’t create unhealthy fear of the dentist in your child, MouthHealthy.org recommends doing everything you can to make their dental visits as comfortable and positive as possible. This can be done by having a positive attitude yourself and talking to your child about what will happen at the dentist before they get there. As long as your child knows you’ll be right by their side, many of their fears should be eased. But if you’re still concerned about how they’ll react at the dentist, you may want to set the appointment for the morning or after a nap so they’ll be in good spirits.

Take Advantage Of Fluoride

According to Sunny Sea Gold of Parents.com, 55 percent of U.S. children have at least one cavity by the time they reach kindergarten. Other than brushing and flossing their teeth regularly, another step you can take toward helping your children with oral health is to take advantage of fluoride.

Fluoride is a naturally occurring mineral that can help to fight against cavities and strengthen teeth. With the right amount of fluoride, your child may stand a great chance at remaining cavity-free throughout the entirety of childhood. While many communities have fluoride in the water already, you can also give your child fluoride through using certain toothpastes or mouth rises, giving them fluoride drops, or having them take chewable fluoride vitamins. If you have concerns about fluoride, speak to your dentist or doctor about the right amount for your child.

If you’ve had problems in the past with getting your kids to brush their teeth or take their oral hygiene seriously, consider using some of the tips mentioned above to begin seeing their health improve starting today.