Caring for your child’s teeth begins at birth! If you instill healthy habits in your children while they’re young, this will form a foundation for a lifetime of healthy teeth.
As time goes on, your child’s dental health hygiene routine will develop as they grow, and it will differ significantly from your own brushing techniques, so it’s important to learn the ins and outs of kids’ oral hygiene habits.
Overview of Children’s Dental Health Care
Just like adults, children need to stick to a routine in order to keep their mouths healthy, and this routine should be automatic. A good oral hygiene routine consists of:
• Eating a balanced meal that is low in sugars and starches.
• Brushing twice daily. If the child is younger than 6, they should use only a pea sized amount of paste.
• Visiting the dentist twice yearly. These visits should start within six months after signs of their first tooth are sited.
• Keeping in mind that plaque should be removed before it hardens in to tarter. Tarter is plaque that is hard and stuck on teeth and can only be removed by a dental professional.
• A second brushing from mom or dad to ensure that the back molars are reached.
• Flossing every day.
After you have the basics down, it’s worth the effort to try to get kids excited about their oral health. In honor of children’s dental health month, we’ve compiled a list of ways to make brushing teeth fun.
Five Techniques for Making Oral Hygiene Fun
- Sing-Alongs: Use the internet to find fun songs about oral hygiene that your family can sing together. We love the songs on this playlist.
- Rewards: Give your child a reward for a job well done! After several days of consistent toothbrushing, a prize like a ribbon, certificate, trip to the park, or movie is a good incentive. Just try to avoid rewarding with sweets!
- Lead by Example: Children will repeat what they see and hear. If you get excited about brushing your teeth and talk about how much you love to do it, this will help encourage your child.
- Teeth Activities: Fun crafts and games are engaging for children. Allowing them to think creatively about oral health can help them to be excited about participating in it.
- Fun Supplies: Allow your child to choose their own toothbrush and paste. Using a toothbrush with their favorite character and flavored toothpaste will make brushing time exciting.
Keep it Going All Year
Dental health is an important part of a healthy life. February is Children’s Dental Health Month, but remind your child that these techniques need to last a lifetime.