Back to School: Encouraging Good Dental Habits September 12th, 2019
You learn from a very young age that oral hygiene is an important part of taking care of yourself. So, as a parent, when it comes to helping your kids form good habits – you have a big responsibility. A routine is the most effective way to do this.
Unfortunately, children don’t make it easy. Getting them to brush their teeth may feel like a constant battle. So, in a bid to make the process a little smoother, we’ve come up with some top tips to encourage kids to get brushing.
Try an Electric Toothbrush
If your toothbrush doesn’t sing to you as you brush your teeth in the morning, you’re doing it wrong. Nowadays, there’s a wide range of all-singing all-dancing toothbrushes available – yes, literally. Whether your child is a cartoon fanatic or princess obsessed, there are plenty of colourful electric toothbrushes on the market that’ll get them excited about brushing their teeth.
Electric toothbrushes are also better for targeting those hard-to-reach places that a traditional toothbrush may miss. So, not only are they a more exciting addition to the brushing routine, they are also better for your child’s oral health.
Use a Special Toothpaste
Strawberry flavoured toothpaste sounds delightful. Sadly, it’s only made for children. Along with watermelon, fruity and even bubblegum, there’s an amazing selection of fun toothpastes out there for kids to try. Soon, you’ll find that they’re actually looking forward to brushing their teeth before bed!
Give Gold Star Rewards
It’s important to reward kids for good behaviour, even when it comes to daily tasks like brushing their teeth. Why not set up a rewards chart where each day they get a gold star?
Get some colourful crayons out and design a table where they can place a sticker each time they have successfully brushed their teeth. By the end of the week (or month) when they’ve filled up their chart, you can arrange for a special treat.
Surprise Visits to the Dentist
Kids love surprises. Ok, so a trip to the dentist isn’t exactly Disneyland, but it can be turned into an exciting day out. It also means they can’t protest on the journey there. You should visit the dentist every 6 months for check-ups to ensure your child’s oral health is up to scratch.
After the appointment, go to the park or plan a picnic. Fun activities like this will conjure up positive thoughts when children think about going to the dentist, helping to form a positive attitude for future visits.
Sing a Happy Song!
A quick browse of YouTube will bring up lots of fun songs for children about brushing their teeth. What’s more, they’re usually 2 minutes long so you can ensure you’re brushing for the recommended amount of time. Have a little dance and make the experience playful. The earlier you start making brushing teeth a relaxed, normal part of their day, the easier it is to keep up the good habits as they grow older.
Lead by Example
Children copy everything you do. If they don’t see you brushing your teeth for two minutes twice a day, they won’t want to either. They’ll also enjoy it more if you’re there brushing away with them. If it’s something you usually do before the kids are out of your bed, alter your routine so you can do it with them.
Why Oral Hygiene is So Important for Kids
Talking to your little ones about dental health is important. By the age of five, nearly 50% of children have one or more cavities. Even though they’re baby teeth, neglecting them can negatively affect their future teeth and potentially lead to dental problems. This is because primary teeth keep the jaw straight, holding it in place for the adult teeth. Baby teeth also play a vital role in teaching them how to chew, talk and smile!
So, now you’re equipped with all the tools you need to make brushing time a breeze. And the best part is you’ll find they carry on their good dental hygiene habits into later life, thanks to the amazing encouragement they received from their parents.
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