Kids pattern their habits with what they see from their parents. Parents play a great role in molding their kids’ dental hygiene. As a parent, your child’s dental consciousness starts when he sees the way you take care of your teeth.
Trading coffee for green tea to keep the teeth stains away sends a strong message to your kids that you are doing what is good for your teeth. In return, this will give them the motivation to take care of their teeth as well.
Teaching kids proper oral care while they are young will pay lifelong benefits. Make sure that teaching them oral care will be carried in a fun and rewarding way instead of a punishment. Santa Ana dentist, Dr. Acevedo, recommends making brushing time a fun time for all. Set a short 2-minute song and dance along or “sing” along while you brush your teeth with your young ones.
Brush along with your child and let him or her choose their own toothbrush. Kids like playful and colorful toothbrushes. They are also sensitive to the taste of their toothpaste. Let them choose a toothpaste with a taste that they like. Most of them will choose toothpaste that tastes like fruits, candies and bubble gums.
Here are some helpful steps in oral care to teach to your children:
- Brush (at least) twice daily. Use toothpaste with fluoride to remove plaque causing bacteria and acids that are the main cause of tooth decay.
- Floss daily to remove the plaque that is left off by brushing. The plaque in between tooth can harden and develop into tartar. A tartar can only be removed by professional cleaning which is uncomfortable and painful at times. Floss in-between teeth. An 8-year-old child should learn how to properly floss teeth on daily basis.
- Limit your child’s food to a well-balanced diet and avoid foods that induce the formation of plaque. Starchy and sweet foods are the common culprit of tooth decay. Give them healthy snack instead of cookies, junk foods, and candies.
- Make sure that what they use for oral care contains fluoride. Check with the local water authorities if your water has fluoride.
- Use soft-bristled toothbrush. A Harsh toothbrush can lead to bleeding gums which can frighten your child from tooth brushing again.
- Schedule a regular check up with a dentist, and make the visit a fun one!
- Teach your child how to brush properly. Clean the outer surface of each tooth first. Brush each tooth back and forth.
- Gently brush the tongue as well.
- Avoid making them eat anything after brushing at night time. Plaque acids can develop immensely as they sleep.