Kids, especially young ones are curious little beings. They want to know about the world around them, other people and about themselves. Part of this is knowing about how their bodies work.
Your kids can be well and truly interested and motivated to look after the health of their mouths if it is approached in an interesting way.
Here are 5 tips to get your kids looking after their mouths and setting the foundations for long term dental health.
Looking after your teeth can be fun.
Although looking after your mouth is serious stuff, it’s important to make it enjoyable for kids. Toothbrushes come in a variety of colours and designs. Some might even have a favourite cartoon character or action hero. Consider letting your kids choose one of these.
Establishing tooth cleaning as part of a fun routine also works well. Try to have a nightly habit of toothbrushing followed by storytime before bed. Linking fun times with teeth health helps create positive associations.
Teach them good habits.
Kids follow our example. Boys like to watch dad’s shave. My daughter’s are fascinated when my wife puts on lipstick and skin cream.
Kids notice these things and want to be just like mum and dad. If they see their parents spending 2 minutes brushing meticulously and thoroughly and then spending time flossing they are going to be doing the same thing in their own mouths.
The bonus for you is your mouth will be healthier as well. Talk about a win-win situation!
No one wants to be a scrubber J so don’t do it when you’re brushing.
The way we brush our teeth is super important. It’s not just about time (2 minutes). It’s also about the way we do it. Have a look at our hygienist Iris’ video on correct tooth brushing techniques. Show your kids the video and try to get them to copy the way she explains. Use a soft bristled brush. Get to the inside, outside and top surfaces and don’t forget to brush your tongue!
Have a sticker chart
I don’t know about your kids but mine love stickers. Consider using a calendar with stickers when they have done their morning and night time brushing. I’ll leave it up to you for how or if you reward them when they get all their stickers. It worked for my girls when it came to swimming lessons (got to get the next sticker!) and it will work for brushing too.
Seeing the dentist regularly is essential (and fun)
Taking your kids to the dentist and hygienist every 6 months helps to prevent cavities and promotes great dental health. It also means your kids are more likely to continue seeing the dentist as adults. We can also pick up early issues such as a lack of room for teeth (crowding) and resolve this before the need for extractions. Regular preventive care means they aren’t likely to have more “invasive” procedures and they can continue to love coming in to see us.
At Rouse Hill Family Dental Clinic, we aim to work with you and your family to provide you with the best level of dental care………for life!