While kids may believe that they have better things to do, encouraging your kids to care for their teeth is vital if they are going to have a lifetime of healthy teeth and maintain good oral hygiene practices in the future. However, there are some extremely simple ways of starting your children on the path to healthy teeth.
- Start a Routine Early
Firstly, it is important that you start a good dental hygiene routine early as this will mean that they are more likely to continue the practice as they grow older and more independent. Once dental hygiene has become part of their routine, maintaining good oral hygiene will seem natural to them. You should start brushing your baby’s teeth as soon as they come through as 42% of 2-11-year-olds have tooth decay. Children should brush twice a day for 2 minutes with a soft toothbrush. However, you should supervise their dental routines until they are around 6 or 7 years old to ensure that they are brushing correctly and thoroughly.
- Visit the Dentist Young
Many children have a deep fear of going to the dentist, and this can have a negative effect on the quality of their teeth. However, if you introduce them to their local dentist from a young age, and take them for an annual check-up, then they are more likely to see the dentist as a safe space. Your dentist will also be able to explain the equipment that they are using, such as dental supplies from Kent Express, who work with local dentists to ensure that they have the right equipment for them when treating a variety of patients.
- Educate Them About the Benefits
Children will not be encouraged to brush their teeth if they feel as if brushing is unnecessary. By teaching them about the benefits and the risks involved, such as having healthy and strong teeth if you brush and having to have fillings if you do not, they will understand why brushing is important. They are then more likely to brush their teeth willingly. You can also download activity booklets and wall charts to help you child understand why looking after their teeth is important.
- Make Brushing Fun
Many children do not want to brush their teeth because they find it boring. However, it is easy to make brushing their teeth fun. You should invest in a 2-minute timer for your children as this will make it seem like a game in which they have to reach a certain goal. You could also try brushing to music, for example. Another great example is to brush your teeth at the same time as them. Not only will they be able to copy your brushing technique, but you will be able to ensure that they brush correctly and keep them company whilst they brush.
- Set up a Reward System
Positive reinforcement is your friend here, and setting up a reward system is the perfect way to get kids to brush. For instance, you could set up a star chart system for every time that they brush, and gift them a treat or a day out at the end. Alternatively, you can suggest half an hour of playtime or a bedtime story after their brushing session if they brush correctly.
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