Your kids’ oral health is vital to their overall health. Unfortunately, some children don’t realize this. It is your job to teach them how to take care of their teeth from an early age. Teaching great dental care will take some creativity and patience, but there are easy ways to do it.
Here are some tips on teaching younger kids how to take care of their teeth, from hygienic and health perspectives.
Teach Them Proper Dental Care
Good oral health starts with good dental hygiene. Poor dental hygiene leads to a buildup of bacteria and plaque, and this results in a range of dental conditions. As such, teach younger kids to brush and floss as early as the opportunity presents itself. Here are some tips to get you started.
Start Brushing Early
Experts recommend brushing your kids’ teeth as early as possible. You can start by wiping their first set of teeth using a clean cloth, and move on to brushing and flossing as your little ones grow. Do this at least twice every day—once in the morning and once in the evening—so your children start understanding the dental care routine. But if they’re older, Waterpik has a great new water flosser for children ages 6+. So, if your child asks, how do Waterpiks work, quickly teach the little ones to do it themselves.
This is recommended to instill a daily brushing routine into your kids as they grow up. Your children will pick up on the routine when they are old enough to brush their own teeth. The times are also strategic—once in the morning for fresh breath and once before bed to get rid of food particles and bacteria.
Get Them Interested in Brushing
You cannot brush and floss your kids’ teeth forever—in fact, brushing and flossing should be one of the first things your little ones learn. As such, make them interested in brushing and flossing as early as possible, and encourage them to brush their own teeth when the time is right.
The trick to getting your kiddos interested in brushing and flossing is setting a routine as early as reasonably possible.
Some kids will see through this trick, and others will fight not to brush and floss. As such, try to make brushing fun and playful. Consider the following tips:
- Let them pick their own toothbrush and toothpaste—go for toothbrushes designed with their favorite TV or movie characters to make brushing fun.
- Join them when brushing, and make it fun by playing interactive mirror games, listening to your favorite tunes, and more.
- Expose them to cartoons and video games designed to get kids interested in brushing.
- Reward them for good dental hygiene practices, and let them know it—you can also set consequences for poor dental hygiene if your kid is stubborn.
Be mindful of how you approach this subject. Don’t make it seem like you are forcing brushing on flossing on your kid— instead make dental care fun, and they will be eager to do it.
Go for Regular Dentist Visits
Regular brushing and flossing help keep germs and bacteria away, but they are not always enough. This is why it is important to have a dentist check your kids’ oral health at least every six months. Regular checkups will help detect and treat any emerging conditions early before they get worse.
There are a lot of stereotypes about taking your kid to the dentist: bottom line, kids don’t like visits to the dentist. There is some truth to this, but you can teach your kid that there is nothing to fear. The most important thing to do is get them used to the concept of regular dental (and medical) checkups. It is also important to pick a dentist who is not only qualified but also good with kids. A great dentist for kids is one who can encourage healthy dental care in a fun and entertaining way.
If you’re wondering how to get your kids ready to go to the dentist, check out our article here on LifeAsMama!
Bonus Tips for Parents
If your children are practicing good dental care and are showing signs of unusual conditions, ask your kids’ dentist if they think a specialist is in order. Complex dental conditions such as misaligned teeth and dental bone deformity can be treated safely without the need for surgery. If your kids need braces when they’re older, your dentist can refer them to an orthodontist.
Or if they need help outside the scope of regular dental care, there are other services that your dentist may recommend. Complex dental conditions such as misaligned teeth and dental bone deformity can be treated safely without the need for surgery. These services include RAGGA (Removable Anterior Growth Guidance Appliance) and other dental services that can help your child fix any jaw and tooth problems. You can check out our guide on how to handle kids’ dental emergencies here.
If you are also experiencing problems, why not get your dental checkup at the same time as your kids? Dental services such as FAGGA (Fixed Anterior Growth Guidance Appliance) can be something to look into when finding a dentist if you have issues beyond what would be covered in a normal dentist’s office visit. Exceptional Dentistry who provides FAGGA in Palmdale CA suggests looking into FAGGA if you are snoring, have sleep apnea or TMD problems, or other jaw issues.
A Playful Approach Always Helps
There is nothing kids like better than fun, so make your dental care lessons fun and interactive. Use the tips above to get your kids looking forward to the next brushing session!
What is your favorite tip to encourage good dental care in your kids? Let us know in the comments below!
Now that you know how to encourage your kids to practice good dental hygiene, check out our guide on how to make doctor visits a more enjoyable experience with kids.
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