Oral Care Tips to Help Children Care for Their Teeth
Do you ever wonder whether your children have good oral hygiene habits? Do you know that their habits could be better? Looking for some ideas to help them improve?
First things first. Why is children’s oral health so important? I mean, these are baby teeth that are just going to fall out anyway, right? Wrong. Did you know that tooth decay is the most common disease among kids? Up to 40% of children have tooth decay (that could have been prevented) by the time they head to kindergarten! Shoot! There is also a risk of damaging their permanent grown up teeth before they even come in! So, yeah, children’s oral hygiene habits are important.
Here are some tips to encourage your children to make sure they are brushing properly two times a day.
If they have not been already, bring them for a visit to their dentist. Kids should have their first dental exam by the time they get their first tooth in, and then regularly every 6 months thereafter. Whoops! You haven’t done this? Don’t fret if they haven’t been for a visit quite yet. Just give us a call and we’ll get you set up. It’s never too late to start. We love teaching kids about caring for their teeth!
If they are old enough to understand, explain to them why brushing is important. Tooth decay occurs when food sits in the mouth and mixes with saliva. The combination of tiny particles and spit form bacteria that causes gum disease and tooth decay (or, cavities). In our house we call them “sugar bugs”. We have to brush the “sugar bugs” away so they don’t eat holes in our teeth.
Fun Tools and Supplies
On your next trip to the store, take a stroll with your kiddo down the oral care aisle. Let them pick out a new toothbrush, flavored toothpaste, and flossers that they’ll be excited to take home and use. There are so many fun colors, characters, and flavors on the market that you’re sure to find some winners! If you’re feeling especially fancy, you might even go for an electric spin brush, a brush with lights, or a timer. It won’t be surprising if they swallow some toothpaste, so giving them a small amount to start is a good idea. Don’t worry, toothpaste manufacturers have thought about this and those special kid pastes are specially formulated to not cause any harm if swallowed.
Make it Fun
There are so many cute, fun, and educational videos available on YouTube to show your children about oral care. You’ll probably even find some real catchy songs that your kiddos can sing over and over when it’s time to brush (you’re welcome!). Additionally, the library or Amazon have a good deal of books on the subject as well. A fave in our house is Clarabella’s Teeth by An Vrombaut. It’s about a crocodile who spends all day brushing that giant mouth of teeth!
Who doesn’t like earning a reward? You can be as simple or as elaborate as you wish with this. Pinterest has a plethora of reward charts if you need some inspiration. But, you get the general idea – set a goal, earn a reward when the goal is reached.
We hope some of these tried-and-true tips will help to get your children excited about caring for their teeth. Hopefully, they will help to take some of your worry away too!