Childhood Tooth Care: Ways to Encourage Great Dental Habits at Home

  • By Tanya Powell
  • 16 Jun, 2017
The most fundamental and important dentalcare happens on a daily basis. No amount of cosmetic or restorative dentistry can completely make up for the damage caused by poor at-homecare.

Unfortunately, children tend to be less worried about their dental health. They love sweets, spend hours playing, and they often don't worry too much about skipping tooth brushing when they they're tired or busy. However, parents can help their children develop great dental health habits at home.

Don't Procrastinate

The key to really setting your child up for dental success is to begin their basic care early in life. As soon as your child has his or her first tooth, start brushing their teeth with a soft tooth brush. If you work this into your daily routine, your child will not fight you as much. Some toddlers and preschoolers resist brushing, and starting early is the best way to combat this behavior.

Set an Example

You Want your kids to see that you make brushing a priority in your own life. You Might not give much thought about it, but you can be very impactful about how children value their teeth. You Might try the following ideas:

  • Narrating What you're doing. For Example, when putting toothpaste on your brush, you might say, "I'm Putting paste on my brush because the paste helps fight the bacteria in mouth. Bacteria Are bad for your teeth."
  • Allowing your child to "brush"your teeth. Parents should help young children brush their own teeth because kids don't yet have the motor skills to get the teeth as clean as they need to be. To help get your child excited, take turns brushing each other's teeth. 
  • Taking a break from fun activities to brush and floss. After dinner, the kids might want to play a game. You can say something like, "Games are fun, but first I've got to brush my teeth!" Invite the children to also brush before playing to get them in the habit of brushing after eating.

 A parent's example is valuable. You can have a greater impact than you might have realized.

Prepare for Dental Visits

Parents need to be careful not to make"going to the dentist"a negative experience for children. Adults often dislike the dentist because it can be uncomfortable or strain on the budget. As much as fifth of Americans avoid the dentist because of fear or anxiety. But a negative attitude about the dentist can condition kids to fear or dislike basic dental work.

Prepare your kids for dental visits by:

  • Explaining what the dentist does. He looks for cavities and gives the teeth a power cleaning. 
  • Telling what your child might see there. There are bright lights,and some of the dental tools look funny and make loud noises. 
  • Showing that you go to the dentist too. Show your child your teeth and explain that one ofthe reasons your teeth are so healthy is because the dentist helps to keep them that way. 

If your children are used to going to the dentist regularly as children, they are more likely to continue going for cleanings and x-rays as a young adult.

Make Daily Dental Care Fun

Creative approaches to dental care can help get reluctant or fearful children to engage in their dental health. You can help to make dental care fun by:

  • Letting the child choose the toothbrush and toothpaste. Kids might not be excited about toothbrush until it has a cool character or fun color.
  • Playing dentist games. For example, teach your child about flossing by placing chunks of play dough between the gaps in an upside-down egg carton. Have your child use some yarn to lift the play dough out. This game helps to teeth your child about the benefits of flossing. 
  • Keeping a sticker chart to earn prizes for clean teeth. Every time your child brushes, they can earn a sticker that builds up to a larger prize. 

You are only limited by your creativity when it comes to making daily care habits fun for kids.

For more information on encouraging kids to have good dental care habits,contact us at Cherry Hill Dentistry LLC.
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By Tanya Powell 16 Jun, 2017
The most fundamental and important dentalcare happens on a daily basis. No amount of cosmetic or restorative dentistry can completely make up for the damage caused by poor at-homecare.

Unfortunately, children tend to be less worried about their dental health. They love sweets, spend hours playing, and they often don't worry too much about skipping tooth brushing when they they're tired or busy. However, parents can help their children develop great dental health habits at home.
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