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When it comes to kids, we know it can sometimes be tough to get kids to brush and floss. While baby teeth do eventually fall out, they play an important role for the future permanent teeth. Babies and small children will need their parents to care for their teeth, but once they are old enough, a good dental hygiene routine is important for them to grasp on their own. They may need some motivation to get started. Take some tips for making dental care fun and interesting for kids.
There are a ton of dental supplies that are marketed towards kids. There are toothbrushes with bright colors, cartoon characters, and even toothbrushes that play music. There is toothpaste in fun flavors like bubblegum or berries. There is even floss flavored to add more fun. Let your child pick out their own dental supplies. They will be more excited to go home and use them if they are involved in picking them out and choosing fun supplies they enjoy.
Create a chart for keeping track of their good dental hygiene. Use stars or stickers to mark the days that they brush twice and floss once. After they get stars on a set amount of days in a row, they get a reward. The rewards can be simple and healthy like taking them to the park, letting them play outside for a while longer, or making them a healthy treat. (Try ants on a log! It’s celery smeared with peanut butter with raisins on top).
Some kids benefit from knowing exactly why they need to take good care of their teeth. Show them some kid-friendly videos about dental care. The American Dental Association’s website has lots of resources that help kids understand the importance of healthy teeth. From videos to games, getting your child involved can make brushing and flossing more interesting to them.
Kids who start brushing and flossing at a young age are likely to keep up the habit on their own once they are old enough. As soon as the first tooth appears, it should be brushed. That is also when their first dental appointment should be. If their first tooth hasn’t grown in by their first birthday, then that is a good time to bring them in. Bringing kids in as early as possible will also help familiarize them with the dentist, so they are not afraid later in life. As soon as two teeth touch, they should be flossed.
Remember to schedule your child’s routine visits to their dentist. Their dentist will be able to give you and your child tips and tricks for taking good care of their teeth at home.
This newsletter/website is not intended to replace the services of a doctor. It does not constitute a doctor-patient relationship. Information in this newsletter/website is for informational purposes only & is not a substitute for professional advice. Please do not use the information contained herein for diagnosing or treating any condition.