Oral diseases pose a major health burden for many countries, affecting people throughout different points in their lifetime. In fact, oral diseases affect nearly 3.5 billion people, including children and adults. Over 530 million children form dental caries of primary teeth, too.
Helping your children understand the importance of good dental hygiene now can benefit them for years to come. They’ll take what they learn into their adulthood.
Teaching them proper teeth care today could ensure their smiles as they get older.
Here are eight tips that can help as you teach your child about proper smile care. With these tips, you can help them prioritize their oral health.
Your child could even look forward to showing off their stunning smile during their next dental appointment!
Help your child prioritize their dental care with these eight simple tips today.
1. Brush as a Family
Remember, helping your child discover the importance of dental hygiene from a young age will help them into adulthood. With that in mind, help them recognize the importance of dental care as soon as possible. First, make sure your child visits a pediatric dentist by the time of their first birthday.
Otherwise, take them in for their first appointment when their first tooth comes in. Usually, that happens around the time they’re six months old.
If you notice anything abnormal (lesions, bleeding, white spots, etc.), make an appointment right away.
Many children mimic their parents. You can use that to your advantage to help your child recognize the importance of dental care. For example, you can lead by example to ensure your child brushes their teeth.
Have your child brush and floss with you each morning and night. Turn it into a family affair!
The first time your child learns to brush their teeth, demonstrate for them. Then, ask them to mimic your behavior.
Consider bringing a timer into the bathroom with you. Then, set the timer for two minutes. Make sure you and your child use the proper technique, too.
For proper teeth care, make sure to:
- Place the toothbrush at a 45-degree angle to the gums
- Gentle brush back and forth in short strokes (tooth-wide)
- Brush the outer, inner, and chewing surfaces of each tooth
- Clean the inside surfaces using up-and-down strokes
Remind your child that it’s important to brush twice a day and floss once a day.
Why is it important to brush daily? Failing to brush allows plaque (a clear, sticky substance) to cling to your teeth. Bacteria and food particles mix together to form plaque.
Plaque can increase the risk of cavities and gum disease.
Helping your child recognize the consequences of neglecting to brush their teeth could encourage them to maintain proper oral care.
2. Play Music
Does your child love music? Play their favorite song while they brush their teeth. Remember, you’ll want them to brush for a full two minutes.
Encourage your child to dance around as they brush. Turn keeping their teeth clean into a fun experience. Make sure to join in by dancing alongside them as well.
Playing music will remind them that they need to brush for the full amount of time.
3. Discuss Their Diet
Talk to your pediatric dentist about teeth-healthy foods you can incorporate into your child’s diet. Improving your child’s diet can ensure proper smile care.
First, try to minimize the intake of foods that can hurt their teeth. That includes foods that are full of sugar, including ice cream and candy. Sugary beverages can impact their dental care, too.
Help your child realize that sugar can cause tooth decay and cavities.
Instead, encourage them to eat foods that can improve their smile care, including apples, celery, and dairy products. These foods can help produce more saliva. Saliva can keep your child’s teeth clean by fighting off germs.
It can also clean away food debris.
Encourage your child to eat cheese and yogurt, too. Foods that are high in calcium and protein can strengthen their teeth. Yogurt, which contains probiotics, will benefit their immune system as well.
4. Consider Your Tools
If you want to improve your child’s teeth care this year, consider the dental hygiene tools they’re using. Choose oral care products that are designed for kids. Encourage your child to choose their own toothbrush, too.
If they like the appearance of their toothbrush, they might feel more inclined to use it.
Some toothbrushes even play music to ensure your child is brushing for a full two minutes.
5. Reward Successes
Reward your child’s good behavior as they begin prioritizing their smile care.
For example, you can track how often they brush using stickers or gold stars. When they reach a week-long streak, consider giving them a small toy or prize.
You don’t have to use food or candy to reward their successes. Instead, consider taking them to the movies or using another incentive.
6. Make It Fun
As you use these smile care tips, look for ways to help your child have fun.
For example, you can let your child use their old toothbrush as a paintbrush. Look for fun books or oral health games online, too.
7. Use Positive Feedback
Once your child begins using these teeth care tips, let them know how they’re doing. Positive feedback will encourage their good behavior. They’ll want to win your praises.
Voice your enthusiasm when they begin brushing without your prompting, too.
8. Schedule Regular Appointments
Make sure to schedule an appointment at your local pediatric dental practice every six months. Visiting the dentist regularly will help you spot potential problems.
Choose dentists for kids who have experience with pediatric care. These dentists will have an easier time putting your child at ease. A kid-friendly environment will minimize the chances of your child developing dental anxiety, too.
With regular check-ups with the pediatric dentist, you can ensure your child’s teeth are clean and healthy year-round.
Stronger Smiles: 8 Tips for Teaching Kids About Dental Hygiene
Don’t neglect your child’s dental hygiene this year. Instead, use these eight tips to teach your child the importance of dental care. They can use what they learn well into adulthood.
With these tips, you can set your child up for lasting success.
Ready to schedule their next appointment? We can’t wait to see you both.
Contact us today to get started.