Kids don’t quite understand the importance of dental hygiene and properly brushing their teeth. If you’re having a difficult time getting your kids excited about brushing their teeth, here are some ways you can encourage your children and get them to enjoy the process.
Children’s Dental Health
Did you know that the number one dental problem among preschoolers is tooth decay?HealthyChildren.org provides the following stats:
- 1 out of 10 children will have a cavity by age two.
- By age three, 28% of children will have one or more cavities.
- 50% of children will have one or more cavities by age 5.
So, how do you protect your child from these statistics? The answer is simple: teach them good dental habits from an early age. Good dental habits include teaching your child how to properly brush their teeth, how to floss, why going to the dentist is important, and why consistency is key.
Using the toothbrush
Once your child has their first tooth come in, you need to start brushing their teeth two times a day with a very small bit of fluoride toothpaste (it should be no more than the size of a grain of rice). You should be able to find a proper toothbrush that is best for your child’s age, ensuring that they are getting a proper clean.
Once your child is three years old, you can start using a pea-sized amount of fluoride toothpaste to help prevent cavities and keep the teeth clean. Additionally, it’s important that you teach your child not to swallow the tooth paste as soon as they are able to understand what that means.
Tip: if your child doesn’t like the taste of mint toothpaste, they make all sorts of flavors.
As for the motion, the direction isn’t what is important. Rather, what is important is to clean each tooth thoroughly, being sure to swipe all the surfaces of the tooth. Your child might only be inclined to brush their front teeth, but it is important that you help them brush every tooth in their mouth and monitor their brushing until they are older.
Another big component of keeping your child’s teeth healthy is incorporating flossing. As soon as they have two teeth touching together, it’s time to start flossing. If you find it easier, try using a a floss pick instead of regular string until your child is old enough to handle the string floss on their own.
Go to the Dentist
While good dental care starts at home, it also starts by getting your child acquainted with the dentist at an early age. The American Dental Association recommends that a child visit the dentist as soon as their first tooth appears, however, no later than the time they have their first birthday. Why this early? They explain that as soon as your baby has teeth, they can begin to get cavities. Being proactive about your child’s dental health today will help set them up for al lifetime of healthy smiles.
As with most things, consistency pays off. Teach your child the importance of maintaining good dental hygiene from an early age. While they’re young, make it a point to brush and floss their teeth each day to prevent tooth decay or gum disease from forming.
Ways to Encourage Your Children to Brush Their Teeth
We know that teeth-brushing isn’t the most fun thing to do, however, it’s important. To get your child excited about brushing their teeth each day, follow these tips:
- Let them pick the flavor of toothpaste they use. When you walk into your local drugstore these days, you see a huge dental aisle filled with options of toothpaste. For children, they make toothpastes that come in a wide variety of flavors, and some might even feature their favorite cartoon or TV show characters on the bottle. Just make sure the toothpaste includes fluoride, which is an ingredient that helps fight tooth decay.
- Let them choose their toothbrush. Same with the toothpaste, give your child the chance to choose their own toothbrush. They can find one their favorite color, one that plays their favorite song, or even one that has characters from their favorite TV show featured on it.
- Make up a song. While brushing teeth, sing a song that lasts for two minutes to help you brush for the accurate amount of time — just be sure you’re not singing more than you’re brushing! You could sing their favorite song they hear on the radio, or you can make up a fun song that’s original to you and your family.
Make an Appointment with Niles Family Dentistry
Good dental care is important — no matter your age. Whether your child needs to see the dentist, or if it’s time to make yourself an appointment, Niles Family Dentistry is here for you. Call us today to make an appointment at (720)-744-0001.