1. Make it Fun!
Make brushing teeth a 2-3 minute party every morning and night. Play your child’s favorite song or giving them a brightly colored sand timer to teach them how long to brush (in a fun way!) Have your child pick out a book for you to read to them while they brush. Create an imaginary story about your child’s favorite character taking care of their teeth, or find a fun book about oral hygiene to read together. Get creative and help your child learn how taking care of themselves can be something to look forward to.
2. Teach them Technique
Showing your kids how to care for their teeth helps them develop healthy habits that will carry into their adulthood. Teach your child to use circular strokes as they brush. As they are developing fine motor skills, teach them how to floss in order to reach every surface of their teeth. These simple skills are priceless tools for your child’s oral hygiene.
3. Be a Model
Two of the greatest ways to teach your child to take care of their teeth are doing it with them and showing them how you care for your teeth. Modeling good oral hygiene demonstrates to your children the importance of brushing and flossing. It can also become something you do together.
4. Give thThem ptions
Let your child pick out a fun toothbrush or toothpaste for themselves so they can look forward to using them later. Since they will need new brush every few months, this can be a helpful way to reinvigorate their interest in brushing on a regular basis. Use toothpaste with fluoride once they are old enough to spit it out and use fluoride free until that point.
5. Provide Tasty Snacks
Provide your little ones with a variety of snacks including some that are lower in sugar and higher in calcium. Giving your kids options that are not all sugar-filled will help them to keep their smiles healthy. Almonds, cheese sticks and yogurt are some examples of high-calcium snacks options. Provide gum that is not sweetened with sugar to help prevent cavities as well.
6. Make it a Rewarding Experience
Lastly, show them that dental appointments can be a great experience as well. Show them the fish tank in the waiting room. Introduce them to the hygienist and dentist taking care of them that day. Encourage them to ask questions. And do not forget to remind them that they can grab something out of the prize box after their appointment. Plan something fun to do after their appointment and praise them for doing a good job and being a great patient.
Call us today at (614) 459 - 5511 to schedule appointments for the family and let us know which tips work best for you!