How to Encourage Your Child To Develop Healthy Dental Habits
Teaching your kids good dental hygiene is essential in ensuring they are set for a lifetime of healthy smiles. At Art of Dentistry, we have the resources and tips to make your little ones excited about taking care of their teeth!
When Should Dental Hygiene Practices Start?
Taking care of your baby’s teeth should begin on day one. After your baby has finished eating, it is important to wipe their gums off with a washcloth and warm water.
As your baby grows and begins teething and eating solids, begin using a silicone finger brush and warm water after each meal. Once your baby’s first tooth has erupted, you can begin placing a small amount of fluoride toothpaste (no larger than a grain of rice) on their toothbrush and brush twice a day.
Schedule your baby’s first pediatric dental appointment between when their first tooth appears, between 6 and 8 months, and their first birthday. The dentist will perform a thorough exam to make sure your child’s teeth, gums, and mouth are healthy. This will also help your child become familiar with the sights and sounds of the dentist.
How To Make Dental Care Exciting:
Let Them Pick Out A Special Toothbrush and Other Products:
Many department and retail stores carry unique, colored, and character toothbrushes. Bringing your child to the store and letting them pick out their own toothbrush will make them want to brush their teeth more often as they’ll be excited to use their very own special toothbrush. Just be sure to buy a soft-bristled toothbrush. Let them choose their own toothpaste while they’re at it! They can choose from exciting flavors like strawberry and bubblegum!
Play Dental Games:
Download kid-friendly oral health apps from the App Store that have educational games to teach about flossing and brushing. These games will make kids excited to practice the skills they learned on their own teeth. You can also encourage them to play pretend and be a dentist for their stuffed animals by practicing brushing and flossing the toy’s teeth. You can also turn brushing into a game with plaque-disclosing tablets- have your age-appropriate child chew one of these tablets to color all the plaque on their teeth, then see how much of the plaque they can remove by brushing!
Play Music or Use a Fun Timer:
Play your child’s favorite song or some upbeat music while they brush their teeth. Doing so will encourage them to brush for the full 2 minutes. There are also kid-friendly timers you can download in the App Store that allow kids to pick out a certain theme or character that pops up when the timer goes off!
With these tips, you’re sure to get your child excited about taking care of their mouth. Solidifying these habits with your kids now is key to making sure they’re set for a lifetime of healthy smiles! To learn more about caring for your child’s teeth, visit the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry for more resources. Contact our office to set up a dental appointment for your little one today!