How to Teach Kids about Good Dental Hygiene
One of the most important things we can teach our children is good dental hygiene and proper tooth brushing. Teaching our kids good dental hygiene can be a fun experience if a little creativity is involved. Remember, kids, love activities that make them feel grown-up.
How often should my kids brush their teeth?
When it comes to maintaining healthy teeth and good dental hygiene, the same rules for adults apply to children. Teach your children to brush at least twice a day (after breakfast and dinner). If you’re really zealous about the importance of dental care, pack a toothbrush and toothpaste in your child’s lunchbox so they can brush at school.
How much toothpaste is too much?
Too much toothpaste can create a lot of unnecessary foam, so try sticking to a small, pea-sized amount of toothpaste on the brush. Be sure to help your child learn to spit out the toothpaste after their finished brushing, as swallowing it can cause a condition called fluorosis, leading to spots on the teeth.
Young children should learn to brush their teeth with a light touch. Hard, forceful brushing can push the gums up and make it more difficult to prevent cavities.
How to start your little ones on the right path to good dental hygiene
Try these helpful tips for teaching your kids about the importance of good dental hygiene, and watch them form good behaviors for taking care of their teeth.
- Let them choose their toothbrush. Let your child pick from the wide selection of colors, characters and gizmos that are available today. Just the object itself can activate your child’s imagination. If you want to get really fancy, there are toothbrushes that play music to encourage children to brush for a set amount of time.
- Create a routine. Kids, and adults for that matter, respond well to regular routines. Starting when your children are young, create morning and bedtime routines that include brushing your teeth with your kids.
- Invent fun contests. Challenge your kids on who can create more bubbles while brushing or who can spit the toothpaste suds closer to the drain. These fun competitions will create interest in an activity that’s often rushed or forgotten about after a long day.
- Flossing first. In order to teach the importance of regular flossing, start by letting your child watch you floss. Then, floss their teeth for them. Soon, they’ll be able to handle this chore by themselves.
- Let the older help the younger. If you have several children a few years apart, let the older child help educate the younger one. As they do with adults, siblings look up to each other and emulate what they see.
- Make a chart! Charts can serve as a fun and helpful reminder for regular teeth brushing. For each successful brushing and flossing, let your child put a star on that time slot. You can use animals or other fun stickers to keep it exciting.
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However, you choose to teach your kids to brush and floss and overall good dental hygiene, be sure to shower lots of praise on them for their efforts. An encouraging word will go a long way, and playing a positive, active role will help your child learn good habits that will last a lifetime. For excellence in dental hygiene for the whole family, request an appointment at Carolina Dental Arts. We look forward to helping you achieve a bright, healthy smile.
Carolina Dental Arts is proud to serve patients of all ages with quality dental care in Raleigh, Durham, Goldsboro, Greensboro, Charlotte – Blakeney, Morrisville and Charlotte – South Park, NC.