Oral health is an essential aspect of overall health, and the sooner you start incorporating it in yours and your kid’s life, the better. Young kids, when they learn these habits early in their life, it goes a long way and prevents the occurrence of gingivitis, cavities, and other dental issues. This article is for all those parents who struggle with teaching their kids good oral care habits. Laying a robust oral care foundation will promise them a great smile in the future. It is up to you how strongly you believe in these habits and wants to protect your child.
Here are a few tips that will help you in encouraging your kids to have good oral health.
1. Brush and floss with them
Lead by example, is a corporate thing but works for kids too. Develop oral cleaning awareness by brushing and flossing together. Kids mimic what their parents do. Show them the right technique of brushing and tongue cleaning. Tell them how a food particle stuck between the teeth is removed by brushing and flossing. Look into the mirror and demonstrate to them the flossing technique if they are old enough to understand.
2. Share the excitement
Sharing the excitement of your child’s appointment with the dentist with your friends and family will create a positive image on your child’s mind. Even if it is a friendly meeting or showcasing a brave behavior during a minor treatment are worth sharing. For example, if your kids undergo treatment to have a stainless steel crown, then appreciate it by telling your family how brave your kid was. Take selfies with your dentist and the kids. It will help in building confidence in your child. The idea behind doing these activities is that kids will grow up to be positive and less scared towards a dentist’s appointment. It will reduce future anxieties.
3. Let the kids take the lead
Once your kids have reached the age of three, they learn the skill of brushing by themselves and spitting out. They also grow their complete deciduous teeth. It is the time when you should encourage them to take responsibility for their teeth. Start slowly by first applying a small amount of toothpaste on their brush, and then they do it. Encourage them to brush twice a day.
4. Set a timer
The ADA recommends brushing twice daily for two minutes in the proper technique to clean your teeth perfectly. Make the brushing a merry time for the kids. Play a two minutes rhyme, and your child will enjoy brushing along with singing.
5. Kids oral care books and videos
Pick up children’s books that encourage oral care habits. Just like reading bedtime stories to kids, read the colorful pictures book about oral care that will have a significant impact on their thought process of brushing and flossing. Watch with them fun videos on dental health routines. These methods are a great way to teach kids about oral health, and they can easily relate to it.
Rewards are the best way to encourage little kids towards brushing. They will look forward to getting a reward from you and thus actively brush their teeth.
Start with small rewards like if they brush consistently for a week, then reward them. Once they have reached this milestone, then reward them when they always clean their teeth for two weeks or more. To track if they are brushing regularly, create a fun tracking system poster decorated with brushes, teeth, and healthy snacks. Give them stickers to put on the sign every day once they have finished their task.
7. Special Brush and Toothpaste
Giving kid-friendly toothbrushes and toothpaste make the oral routine enjoyable for children. In today’s era, there are a lot of products specially made to attract young kids. Singing toothbrushes are one of those special toothbrushes. As per studies, singing toothbrush influences kids to brush for longer. They found that the average time a child takes to clean with a regular brush is approx 63 seconds, whereas, with a singing toothbrush, they take 1 minute 49 seconds.
There are several varieties of toothpaste, too, for kids. Instead of giving them your regular herbal or mint toothpaste, provide them with a watermelon or strawberry flavored toothpaste. Buy the kid’s toothpaste containing fluoride. It helps in preventing the chances of cavities and gum diseases.
8. Healthy Eating Habits
Lastly, every healthy habit related to your body, mind, and teeth boils down to eating habits. If your kids indulge in sweets a lot more than what is normal, then there is no benefit of following oral care. Having a sweet tooth can lead to cavities, which later lead to tooth decay and tooth loss. As elders, you must give kids foods with low-sugar content, which will make them strong and healthy. Teach them why overeating sugar is not suitable for their health. Slowly, but gradually they will understand.
The above are the few ways that will encourage your kids to follow good oral health. For kids whose teeth are yet to appear, you can clean their mouth using a soft cloth. It’s all about fun and excitement when it comes to kids’ dental care. Implement the best tip that works for you and stay happy.