Kids aren’t known for being thorough when it comes to personal hygiene. And tooth brushing is no different. Ask any parent and they’ll tell you, without hesitation, that getting their kids to brush their teeth is an ongoing struggle. Nonetheless, it’s a necessary struggle.
Taking care of your child’s primary teeth is a vital component of their overall health as they grow into adolescence. Not only do primary teeth help children chew and speak, they also hold space in the jaws for permanent teeth that are growing under the gums. When a baby tooth is lost too early, the permanent teeth can drift into the empty space and make it difficult for adult teeth to find room when they come in- resulting in crooked teeth. That’s why starting children off with good oral hygiene can help protect their teeth for decades to come.
These five tips can help make the brushing routine a little more enjoyable for your little one as well as build good oral hygiene habits that will stick.
- Make It A Game – Competition is a strong motivator, especially for children. The idea of dental decay might not be effective at convincing them to brush properly, but the hope of winning a competition against mom and dad might just do it. Try creating a game surrounding your teeth brushing routine to spark interest.
- Get An Electric Toothbrush – Think about it; when children don’t like doing something, it’s usually because it involves a little work on their part without any direct benefit. An electric toothbrush can reduce some of the work manual brushing presents, and it adds a cool factor that makes the whole experience more enjoyable.
- Get On Their Level – The words gingivitis and decay don’t make a lot of sense to kids. Ask your dentist for help explaining the consequences of improper oral hygiene in kid-friendly words. For example, explain that, “cavities make your teeth hurt and sad. You wouldn’t want to let that happen to them, would you?”
- Let Them Pick Out Supplies – Kids get excited about the small stuff. Getting a toy in their happy meal, seeing a jumbo jet take off at the airport, and picking out a treat from the store are all experiences that can have a big impact on little minds. Next time you’re at the store, let your kids pick out their own toothbrush and toothpaste. That way they get excited about the purchase and want to show off their new stuff come time for brushing.
- Brush With Them – This last tip might seem simple, but it could be one of the most effective of them all. Kids are highly impressionable when it comes to behavior. Sometimes simply seeing their mom or dad work to keep their teeth healthy will help them do the same.
There’s no sure way to get your kids to brush their teeth, or to care about hygiene altogether, but these tips will put you on the right track. And don’t forget to take your children to the dentist for regular cleanings! Call Dr. Cash, your family dentist, to setup an appointment and help your children develop a sound dental hygiene routine that will keep their teeth healthy for years to come.
(Source: The Dental Geek & Mouth Healthy)