If you have the opportunity to visit the home or if your program includes a home visit component, the following activities may be conducted to reinforce good dental practices by the family members.

  1. Assist parents in preparing and/or selecting nutritious and dentally healthful snack recipes.
  2. Assist parents in making recipe cards for good snack recipes.
  3. Assist parents in making a family brushing chart. List every family member on the chart, and encourage parents to work with their children on marking the chart each day following brushing.
  4. Explain to parents that it is important to reinforce their children's dental health habits. To reward good dental behavior and to help build the self-esteem of their children, encourage parents to say the following to their children:
    "You do a very good job of cleaning your teeth."
    "I'm proud of the way you clean your teeth so well."
    "You have such a nice smile, I'm glad you brush your teeth so well."
    "You're special! I'm glad you take such good care of yourself."
    "I'm proud of your good snack choices."
  5. Conduct a family "Brush-In" to teach family members the proper brushing skills.
  6. Arrange for a dental professional to visit the family with you to demonstrate proper dental care techniques.
  7. Conduct a safety check at home for potential hazards to oral health. After the check is made, help the family write safety rules for the home. Encourage parents to write each rule on a separate piece of paper, and let their children draw pictures on the safety rule page.
  8. Advise parents that they should not give a bottle of milk, formula, or juice to children at nap or bed time. The liquid around the child's teeth may lead to decay. Only plain water should be used in bottles at nap or bedtime.
  9. Describe the methods of obtaining fluoride at home. Create an awareness of the ADA Seal of Acceptance on dental products. Encourage parents to select such dental products.
  10. Give parents a list of the four food groups and examples of foods in each group. Discuss the importance of a well balanced meal. Work with parents on the development of menus for their family. Be aware of favorite food items, and include them in the menus.
  11. Advise parents of the dental hazards of frequent snacking. Provide a list of sensible snacking choices.
  12. If possible, take parents with children on a field trip to the dental office. Arrange for a dental professional to describe the procedures that are followed during the child's first dental visit.

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