While many parents know that good dental hygiene is important for themselves, they may not realize how important it is to start teaching good oral hygiene habits young. This includes teaching children how to properly brush and floss their teeth. Many people don’t think that dental hygiene is a big deal for kids since their baby teeth are going to fall out anyway. This couldn’t be further from the case. Not only does caring for their baby teeth teach children important dental hygiene habits, but it also helps ensure their adult teeth grow in correctly. Children who care for their baby teeth end up with straighter teeth, and a life-long appreciation for their teeth. But how can you help take some of the struggle out of teeth brushing?
Teaching Good Habits
Sometimes trying to get your child to brush their teeth can be harder than pulling teeth, so how can you help make morning and evening tooth brushing more fun? First, make sure your kids know how to brush their teeth correctly. Once they are around three or four years old, you can start showing them how to brush the backs, fronts, and tops of their teeth in small circles, making sure to clean their tongue. As they get older, you can teach them to use dental floss (most dental floss picks come in fun shapes, like dinosaurs or animals, to make them easy for little hands to hold) and mouthwash to help keep their teeth squeaky clean.
The easiest way to help your kids enjoy brushing their teeth is to make dental hygiene fun. Let them pick out their favorite toothbrush (many toothbrushes come with fun cartoon characters on them) and turn the whole activity into a game. You can play their favorite song to teach them how long to brush their teeth, and even make brushing their teeth a game for the whole family. If kids see Mom and Dad taking care of their teeth, they will be more likely to practice good habits and be excited to spend time with the family.
You can also offer rewards for kids who need a little extra convincing to brush their teeth. A chart with a gold star system or prizes for remembering to brush their teeth twice a day all week can help encourage kids to see dental hygiene as an important, rewarding activity. You can also even reward them if they don’t have any cavities next time they visit the dentist, which can encourage them to brush extra well. Taking care of your kids’ teeth doesn’t have to be scary, and it can even be fun to teach them all about caring for their growing teeth, so they will have an appreciation of their amazing smile for years to come.
Here at Anderson Dentistry in Mt Pleasant, SC, we know the importance of taking care of your smile, no matter what age. That is why we work closely with children and adults to help ensure their smile is happy and healthy for years to come. If you have any questions or would like to set up an appointment with our office, give us a call today to learn more.