Getting young children to do anything can feel like a huge endeavor, but getting your child to take proper care of their teeth is especially hard. It’s completely possible though through simple crafts and experiments. These efforts allow you to achieve good hygiene and instill good oral care habits. The following are a few interesting ways you can promote dental health in your child.
Teach Brushing Movements Through Teeth Painting
A great way to show how your child should brush their teeth is to demonstrate it in a creative way. Cut out the shape of a tooth from a white piece of paper. Give your kid an old toothbrush and find some poster paint that they like. Let them paint the tooth on their own, encouraging them to follow proper brushing techniques.
Have them move the brush up and down, back and forth, and circularly as they paint. Be sure to stress that the old toothbrushes are for their paintings and not for actually brushing their own teeth.
Simply Ask Them
Sometimes getting children to properly brush their teeth is as easy as asking them. You can keep track and reward them for completing the task by using a toothbrushing chart. Make the chart fun by putting it into the shape of a person’s smiling mouth. Use red poster board so that you can have your child fill in the smile each day they brush.
At the end of the month, when the smile should be complete, you can reward your child with their favorite meal or a small toy.
Show Them How Sugar Affects Our Teeth
Dentists and parents do their best to stress the harmful effects of sugar. However, children usually have a sugar tooth, and you don’t want to completely deny them simple pleasures in life.
To show them how dangerous too much sugar is, perform an interesting science experience for them. Have them submerge an egg that’s hard-boiled into a clear glass of grape juice or soda. The egg has a similar makeup of an enamel material. They’ll see the discoloration of the eggshell, and you can have them brush it away with toothpaste and a toothbrush. Make sure you make it clear that the staining is caused by the sugar.
Happy Face Snacks
A simple way to get your kids to eat healthily and stress the importance of dental health is to encourage them to make smiles out of them. Give your child a paper plate with a variety of healthy snacks on it. You can use foods such as carrot coins, apple slices, nuts, raisins, or broccoli florets.
While they arrange their snacks, ask them why they think these foods are healthy for their teeth and tell them how they’re different than junk food.
Why Brushing Is Important for Children
Teaching your child the importance of brushing their teeth is vital. Primary teeth are what keep your jaw straight and hold the spaces for adult teeth to come through.
They also play an important role in the way a child learns to speak, chew, and smile. Having a healthy and happy mouth means they’ll have a confident smile early on, making them more apt to participate in social interactions. When you establish good oral habits early on, you encourage good lifelong habits in other areas of life.
When to Start Proper Oral Hygiene for Kids
With all of this information, you may be wondering when the right time to start implementing dental hygiene for your kid. For flossing, the best age to start is when they start getting teeth which is about two to three years of age.
The same goes for brushing teeth, but be sure to use toothpaste that’s appropriate for babies.
The Bottom Line
The decision about how and when to start teaching your children is completely up to you, but consider consulting your family dentist for advice. Kids often feel anxiety about going to the dentist. However, our professionals at Hamptons Dental have 20 years of experience, enabling us to effectively calm any child’s worry.