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How to Help Your Kids Develop Great Dental Hygiene

  • May 18, 2017

Everyone knows proper dental hygiene involves two-minutes of brushing twice a day and flossing at least once a day.

Proper dental hygiene is important and is essential in the prevention of future dental issues such as gum disease and tooth decay.

It is important to instill good dental hygiene routines in your kids early.

It is never too early to begin taking care of your child’s teeth. The risk of tooth decay is present shortly after birth and before any baby teeth come in.

Children who practice daily dental hygiene lower their risk of expensive and unpleasant dental issues in the future.

As soon as your kids are old enough to care for their own teeth, proper dental hygiene should be taught and enforced.

While you know how important taking care of one’s teeth is, your child likely will not and see brushing and flossing as a chore.

How do you make dental hygiene fun for your kids so they will develop a daily routine if proper dental hygiene?

Let Your Child Pick Out Their Toothbrush and Toothpaste

Your child may be more excited to brush if they can get a toothbrush that features his or favorite movie or cartoon character. There are many toothpastes geared specifically to kids and are in fun flavors like bubble gum and watermelon that kids love.

Be sure to change out your child’s toothbrush every three months as germs and plaque can build up and the bristles can become frayed and ineffective.

Lead by Example

Young children quickly pick up habits they observe in the people around them. They will also copy and mimic the actions of those they look up to and admire.

You can use this opportunity for children to pick up on things by brushing and flossing together. Let them observe how you care for your teeth. When you brush your teeth, make sure your attitude is positive so your child will associate dental hygiene as something enjoyable and good.

While brushing together, you can also teach your child how to properly floss and either floss their teeth for them (if they are young) or provide guidance and correction (if they are old enough to floss their own teeth.

You can make this time more enjoyable and fun for both of you by brushing to a song your child enjoys.

Make the Countdown Fun

Two minutes of brushing can seem like forever, especially for younger kids. Young kids can also get distracted.

There are fun ways to help your child stay focused and brush for the entire two minutes. One idea is to find a song your child enjoys and which is at least two minutes long. Play the song while your child brushes his or her teeth. The teeth brushing ends when the song does.

Another idea is to have an hourglass or watch a clock and brush until all the sand is gone or until two minutes have elapsed.

Reward With Stickers

Create or buy a daily brushing chart and give your child a sticker to put on it after each time they brush their teeth.

To add to the sticker system, you can give rewards such as a trip to the park or a healthy snack for certain amount of stickers.

Post-Dentist Visit Reward

Regular dental check-ups every six months is an important part of good dental hygiene. Many children don’t like going to the dentist. Some children have an intense fear of the dentist.  The trip to vital dental check-ups can often result in fits and tantrums.

Your child may be more willing and cooperative if he or she knew they would get a reward afterwards. The reward can be anything your child enjoys and which they don’t get to enjoy often. You can take them to see a movie, go to the arcade or the park.

Instilling good dental hygiene habits in your kids early on is essential in strengthening their teeth and gums to prevent future dental issues.

If it has been over six months since your child has been to the dentist, contact us at Historic Triangle Dental Care. We offer a wide range of services for the whole family in a pleasant, friendly environment.

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