It’s important to take care of your teeth from a young age. Educating children on good oral habits large falls under the responsibility of parents — but getting kids to take care of their teeth can be a big challenge for most. Here are 10 tricks for teaching dental health to kids courtesy of BrightSmile Avenue.
Lead By Example
A great way to get your child to establish a healthy oral cleaning habit is to show one yourself. Kids take their parent’s lead on many things — if you show them that you brush and floss twice a day, they’ll be more inclined to do the same themselves.
Don’t Use the Dentist As A Threat
“If you don’t brush your teeth we’ll have to take you to a dentist!”
Using a dentist — or any medical professional — as a threat is always a bad idea! You want children to feel safe at the dentist and not see them as some sort of punishment.
Be Calm At The Dentist
Like with leading by example for brushing your teeth, you also need to lead by example when visiting the dentist. If you’re nervous and jittery, your children will be, too. Try to remain calm, and if you do have a dental phobia yourself, let the team at BrightSmile Avenue know so we can make you as relaxed as possible during your visit.
Make It Fun
A popular tactic of many parents, and one we fully endorse, is to establish a toothbrushing song you sing with your child as you clean your teeth. The song should last about two minutes, and you brush as long as the song is going. It might be a song you make up yourself, or play your child’s favorite song for them to brush along to.
Make It Cool
What child doesn’t like toys? Especially ones with motors and sounds. Child-friendly electric toothbrushes are a great way to get your child more interested in cleaning their teeth frequently.
Plaque Disclosing Products
Give your child a plaque disclosing chewable or mouth rinse when they brush to highlight the film over their teeth. This will not only help them see what they’re missing, but is also a fun, engaging way of explaining how their teeth work and the importance of cleaning.
Never Underestimate Puppets
When dentists visit schools to tell them about good oral health, they’re never without one or more trusty puppets to help them get the point across. You can do the same thing at home with a sock and some googly eyes. It will help make the experience more fun, and give kids someone to learn from that “isn’t” their parents.
Tools that make brushing easier and more interactive are great for getting kids involved in brushing. Brushes or devices that beep when you need to move to the next part of your mouth, special hand grips, and even toothbrushes that play music. All of these will add a level of engagement with your child that turns teeth cleaning from a chore to a fun daily ritual.
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