Did you know fewer kids now have cavities?
This might be due to wider spread of important health tips on the Internet, better education, and a more health-conscious society. Regardless of the reason, you shouldn’t fall behind! Teach your kids about oral hygiene and help them maintain their teeth.
It’s okay if you don’t know where to start. If you’re a first-time parent or new to teaching dental care to kids, we’ve got a guide here for you. Read on for our 10 tips regarding children’s dental care.
1. Don’t Neglect Baby Teeth
Some people assume that because primary teeth, otherwise referred to as baby teeth, don’t need much attention since they’re temporary. This is not true. You have to pay as much attention to baby teeth as you do permanent teeth.
Baby teeth help guide a child’s permanent teeth to grow in the right location. Maintaining them also ensures better gum health too.
2. Brushing Starts Early
Don’t wait for your child to have a full row of teeth before you begin the habit of brushing. As soon as they have a tooth out, begin brushing. You don’t need to floss yet since the toothbrush can still reach the sides and back of each new tooth.
If you start early, your kid will get used to the concept of brushing. It might become second nature for them as soon as they hit two to three years old. They might be the ones to remind you about brushing!
During their early years, you should brush their teeth three times a day, after each major meal. Most adults brush only twice a day, in the morning and before heading to bed, but babies and toddlers need it more.
Also, you shouldn’t worry about your kid ingesting toothpaste. Fluoride isn’t dangerous as long as they don’t engulf a whole tube of it.
3. When to Start Flossing
When should you start flossing? You don’t have to wait for your kids to talk and do things on their own. You can floss for them even when they’re still toddlers, as soon as they have a row of teeth.
Flossing helps remove all the food debris and plaque buildup between teeth. A toothbrush can’t reach all those tight spaces, so don’t assume brushing can get the job done. Keep doing this as your kid gets older and, like brushing, it might become a regular habit.
4. Watch Shows About Brushing and Flossing
YouTube is everywhere nowadays, even on gaming devices. Take advantage of this and watch shows about children’s dental care. This can help them get more excited about it, especially if they see their favorite characters brush too.
5. Kids Can Floss
Does your kid want to floss? One effective way to teach them is to take at least eighteen inches of floss and tie the ends to their fingers. This ensures they don’t accidentally let go of the floss.
Start flossing with the front teeth. This should help your kids get used to the process since they can do it in front of a mirror. Flossing teeth at the side of the mouth and the back requires more practice and steadier hands.
6. Let Kids Pick Their Toothbrush
Another way to motivate kids is to let them pick their toothbrushes.
It’s the same philosophy as letting them pick their clothes or backpack for school. Kids are more likely going to enjoy an activity if they had a hand in the decision. This makes the activity fun and more engaging for them.
When you buy the toothbrush, it can look boring and intimidating for them. It becomes a chore.
But when they choose the toothbrush, it becomes their decision. They want their decision to matter.
7. Build a Routine
If you want kids to love brushing their teeth, you have to make it a routine. It has to become a part of their daily life.
Don’t skip brushing, even on those days when you feel exhausted. Take time to remind your kids to brush after every meal and brush alongside them. Soon enough, they won’t complain about it because they won’t think of it as anything more than a part of their daily routine.
8. Reward, Don’t Punish
Don’t scare them about cases of a cavity in toddlers. Don’t make up imaginary tales about monsters chasing them if they forget to brush. Instead of punishing them for forgetting to brush and floss, focus on rewarding them every time they remember.
Rewards can make kids more enthusiastic about brushing. They won’t see it as a chore but as a fun activity.
You don’t have to stick with toys or desserts as rewards. Letting them play video games for an extra hour or letting them pick a movie for the night work as great motivational rewards too.
9. Let Kids Understand the Science
It might be tempting to make up fairy tails to convince your kid to brush their teeth and floss. Don’t step into that pit. You’ll have to explain the importance of brushing and flossing eventually.
Let them watch you brush and floss. Children are more likely to follow you if you walk the talk.
Don’t stop there. Make sure you explain how brushing helps them maintain oral health. For younger kids, start with the concept that brushing and flossing gets rid of food stuck between their teeth. For older kids, you can explain how fluoride and brushing scrub off bacteria and maintain healthier enamel.
10. Regular Checkup
An important part of your dental checklist is to schedule a regular checkup. Kids and adults should visit a dentist at least twice a year.
If your kids have cavities or other complications, they might have to make more frequent visits. This also applies to kids who need braces.
Practice Better Children’s Dental Care Today!
Children’s dental care doesn’t have to feel like a chore. It shouldn’t be an exhausting activity you and your kids have to slog through. Follow these tips and brushing can become a fun routine and you’ll be able to get it done right.
Don’t stop here though. We have a plethora of other useful guides to help you. Feel free to read more of our articles for great tips and tricks today.