How To Teach Kids To Take Care Of Their Teeth
Teaching your child about dental hygiene can either be torture or fun, depending on how you approach it. Here are four easy ways to help your kids take the best care of their teeth while making it a fun part of your family’s daily routine.
Good oral hygiene should begin when your child are babies. Wipe down their gums with a cloth after each feeding and gradually move on to a toothbrush when teeth appear during the toddler years. Brush their teeth twice a day, once in the morning and once before they go to bed. Make sure to floss their teeth at the bed time cleaning too. Once your children have entered their preschool years, you have firmly established that taking care of their teeth is important. As they grow older, take time to explain the long term effects of not taking care of their teeth.
There’s a lot to pay attention to when it comes to taking care of their teeth, and kids aren’t known for patience in this area. For example, they need to spend two minutes brushing and another two minutes flossing the plaque out from in-between the teeth. To help small children find a doll, if available, and have your child brush the doll’s teeth. Have your child talk about what he or she is doing and review the basics about brushing and flossing properly. Remember to do the flossing too. I know it’s a drag to do it but it so important to get them into this groove. Good oral hygiene begins when they are babies. It is up to you!
When my son was around four or five I encouraged him to start brushing and flossing on his own. I thought that he would like to do it by himself. Funny thing though he didn’t want to clean his teeth by himself. He soon did. I let him brush his teeth in the morning and I brushed and flossed them just before he went to bed. I never took over when he cleaning his teeth but I did correct him on his technique. Once I saw that he was doing ok I let him do the evening cleaning as well.
Children, like adults, need to visit the dentist every six months for regular cleaning check-ups. Take children to the dentist as soon as their Baby Teeth are all in. That’s around three years of age. We can look and see how the teeth have erupted and see if there could be problems down the road. If the kids are nervous about this we just give them a ride on the chair and try to look in their mouth. After a few times like this they soon lose their fear and become model patients.
During these visits, we review with the child the best ways to brush and floss their teeth. Sometimes hearing information from authoritative sources makes more of an impact on children. The repetition and practice will help our children have healthy teeth and mouths forever!