12 Dental Tips To Teach Kids About Teeth
Instilling good oral health habits can help your child maintain a beautiful smile for a lifetime. But this isn’t always easy. It’s hard enough to get kids to bed even without a tooth brushing struggle. Luckily, we’ve got some tips and tricks to get kids excited about taking good care of their teeth:
- Set an example. Brush your teeth in front of your child and while they brush their own. Make it a family event. It will help your child learn by watching and imitating you.
- Get them involved. Let your child pick out their own toothbrush and fluoride toothpaste. There are lots of kid-friendly toothbrushes with cartoon characters and a variety of flavored, colored toothpastes.
- Switch it up. Maybe even let your child pick out multiple toothbrushes and different kinds of toothpastes when you go shopping. Having a variety to pick from can make the brushing routine more fun.
- Proper technique. Knowing the right way to brush teeth is crucial. Teach them to hold the toothbrush at a 45-degree angle and brush gently back and forth over the front, back and top of every tooth. Teach them to brush the gums as well but not too hard because it can irritate gums.
- Brush their teeth yourself. Encourage children to brush their own teeth but follow up by brushing them yourself. Young children don’t have the manual dexterity to properly brush all plaque away. For kids who still need their teeth brushed by a parent, make it fun by telling a story while you brush such as “treasure hunting.”
- Practicing on others. Let your child practice brushing your own teeth, even if it feels awkward. Giving them an extra toothbrush to pretend-brush their stuffed animals or dolls is another good idea.
- Brush to a tune. To keep your child brushing for 2 whole minutes, we recommend brushing teeth to music. Let them pick out which song to make it exciting.
- Reward good behavior. Rewarding your child when they brush can help motivate them. Perhaps make a sticker chart for each morning and night. Encouraging them verbally every time can make brushing teeth more positive as well.
- Stick to a routine. It may be tempting to skip brushing when your normal schedule is off like on vacation but it’s crucial to maintain a routine. This will make brushing easy and second nature for kids as they grow up and into adulthood.
- Educate about cavities and decay. Even young kids can understand these concepts and baby teeth are at risk for decay as soon as they appear. Talk about the importance of taking care of your teeth. Make it fun by telling a story about the bugs from sugary drinks/candy and how toothbrushes and floss fight against them as the superheroes.
- Healthy snacking. Teach your child the link between what they eat and their oral health. We all know that fruit, vegetables, cheese, and nuts are better for overall health and easier on teeth than candy or chips. Keep healthy snacks on hand and already prepared in the fridge like apple slices, baby carrots, or cheese cubes. We also recommend involving your child in growing your own food, grocery shopping for fresh produce, or cooking. When they feel involved, it’s easier to get enthusiastic about healthy eating.
- Dental visits. Your child’s first dental visit should be after the first tooth appears, but no later than their first birthday. After that, children should see a dentist every 6 months for regular cleaning and a check-up. Make dental visits a positive experience by talking to your child before about what will happen and having them practice opening their mouth for the dentist. There are also plenty of children’s books or shows about going to the dentist. All these things can help your child feel more comfortable and less scared at the actual visit.
Is it time for your child to visit the dentist? We’re kid-friendly at Beaverton TenderCare Dental and experts in child dentistry!
You can contact us on our website, email us at email@example.com, or call us at 503-643-4719. Se Habla Español! Our eco-friendly office is conveniently located at 4095 SW 144th Ave, Beaverton, OR 97005. Hope to see your family in soon!