As your kids start to get older you may start to worry about their teeth, and if cavities are wreaking havoc on their cute little smiles. This is a valid concern and good for you to worry. There is good news though, almost 100 percent of gingivitis and oral health problems are preventable according to most dental experts.
Parent Tip: Start a healthy dental routine as early as possible, get your little ones familiar with the dentist when they are young. There is no reason to wait and if you visit one of our Pediatric dental offices in the East Valley it will easily be a fun and exciting field trip out of the house.
Start seeing the dentist when your child is young. Regular visits at a young age will help to establish a healthy and comfortable routine for your child and it allows them to be brought up knowing that the dentist is fun and that dental checkups are normal and good. Doing this can be a big help in preventing any fears of the dentist if they meet their dentist for the first time at a later age.
It has been an age-old question that’s existed since you were a child, and now that you’re a parent, you’re seeing the other side of the battle for getting kids to develop and keep up their oral care habits. If you’re having trouble with the hygiene battle, here are some tips to help you make sure your child is brushing. Parent Tip: Make it fun!
Let them see you brushing.
Children often want to do whatever their parents are doing, especially if it looks like fun. When you brush your teeth, let your child see what you’re doing and be happy that you’re doing it. They’ll think it’s the coolest thing and will want to try it, themselves. This also sends them the message that this is a part of daily life. Another helpful tip is to use a timer of any sort while you do it. This makes sure your child understands that brushing takes an entire two minutes.
Tell them a story about why it’s important.
You can talk to your child about why we need to brush and include images like how the sugar bugs can make holes in your teeth if you don’t brush them away. Use something that speaks to their imagination and you’re more likely to get them brushing. If you’re not great at making up stories about brushing, there are several books on the market designed to show kids the importance of brushing all the time.
Get The Right Toothpaste.
Little ones are not a big fan of the minty winter fresh toothpaste that Mom and Dad may use. Pick out a fun flavored toothpaste-like strawberry, blueberry, or orange and ask them what they think and experiment with different flavors to find them a favorite that they will enjoy, just make sure it has fluoride and be sure to only use a small pea-sized amount of toothpaste.
Find a Fun & Favorite Toothbrush
The options for themed and funky toothbrushes are endless. An old fashioned white toothbrush isn’t going be exciting for the kids, look at finding one with their favorite cartoon character, superhero or Disney princess. One of our favorites are the toothbrushes with lights. At the push of a button, the light will flash for 1 minute. 1 Minute for the top and 1 minute for the bottom and those little teeth are clean.
Make Up a Fun Toothbrushing Song
Making up a silly song during brushing time is a fun way to help pass time and great bonding moment, oftentimes it’s these little songs that they will remember for the rest of life.
If your child’s still not convinced, you can actually buy a dissolving agent at the pharmacy or dental office that shows him how much plaque is on his teeth. These nontoxic agents turn plaque pink so that your child can see how much of a difference brushing makes.
The most important part of this battle is making sure that you keep brushing a positive experience for your kids. The more you can make it feel like fun and less like a chore, the better results you’re going to get. You should also never threaten brushing as a punishment for bad behavior. If your child is still not sticking to it after trying these tricks, talk to the dentist about how to get them going.
Here is a fun little printable chart that can be used to check off or add a sticker to each day. Just click the image to download.