Did you know that tooth decay is the most common chronic disease that affects children? It is not surprising, dental hygiene for kids isn’t on the priority list! But as a parent, dental hygiene for your kid must be one of your top priorities. You must teach them good dental hygiene and its importance. Doing so right now is the best time; your kid is impressionable, and they will remember the good habits throughout their life.
Teaching dental hygiene isn’t always easy, though. Kids are more interested in playing games, running around with their friends, and watching TV. You need to make dental hygiene for kids interesting for them, and here’s how to do that.
Lead by Examples
Parents often order their kids to brush their teeth, but that doesn’t always work. And it ends up with one of you being annoyed. Instead, what you can do is show your kid the importance of dental hygiene. Your kid is impressionable, and they want to imitate you, which works in your favour.
To lead by example, you should let them be around you when you and your partner brush your teeth. Let them see you taking care of your dental hygiene, and they will want to do the same. You should also take them along for regular dental checkups for yourself.
Make It a Game
You already know that kids love games, so why not turn dental hygiene into a game, too? Come up with fun games that make them brush and floss their teeth. This way, your kid will form an excellent hygienic habit and have fun while doing so. For example, you can ask them to brush their teeth along with brushing their stuffed animal’s teeth.
If you are creatively inclined, you can even come up with a story! Start the story by telling them about the colony of germs that want to invade their mouth, and the only way to defend their teeth (and defeat germs) is by brushing and flossing twice a day. This is more effective than just telling them the health benefits.
The easiest way to get your kid to do something is to offer them rewards. Every time they floss and brush their teeth, give them a reward. Obviously, we aren’t asking you to give them sugary treats or soft drinks, as they can be counterproductive. Instead, let them play a game for some extra time, or read them a bedtime story in return. Figure out what your kid likes doing and turn that into a reward. Be careful not to take this too seriously with your kid as it can make them dislike the reward itself.
Get Them Special Toothbrush and Toothpaste
Dental hygiene for kids can be fun with special toothbrushes and toothpaste specially designed for kids. You must’ve seen funky coloured toothbrushes with Iron Man or Batman painted on them, or that strawberry bubblegum flavoured toothpaste in the supermarket, right? Get your kid those. There are so many different kinds of kid-friendly toothbrushes and toothpaste available in Red Deer, so get what your kid likes.
While picking out the toothbrush, always choose soft-bristled ones as they are suitable for gums. Medium or hard bristles can scrub off the teeth enamel and damage the gums, making them bad for oral health. As for toothpaste, choose the ones with no fluoride in them. Alberta’s water already contains fluoride, which is enough to help maintain your kid’s teeth; too much fluoride can be harmful to their sensitive teeth.
Learn a Toothbrush Song
The internet is a strange yet wonderful place, and there is a song for everything on it. Just search “toothbrush song and dance” into Google, and you will be bombarded with hundreds of results. There are songs and dances in almost every language spoken on the internet.
Practice the song with your kid and play them when they are brushing their teeth. This will turn their dental care routine into a fan dance session with you! Also, the songs are well-timed, so your kid will get the perfect toothbrush timer to follow.
Make Healthy Yet Fun Food for Them
Chocolates, candy, popsicles, ice cream, and pastry have one thing in common, they are all sweet, sugary and bad for oral health. You must avoid giving your kid these foods as dental hygiene for kids is closely linked to their diet. Instead, you should give them healthy foods that are beneficial for their oral health.
There’s a catch, though: kids think healthy food is not tasty. Prove them wrong by making fun yet healthy foods for them like chicken taco salad, turmeric egg sandwich, yogurt with berries and nuts, sushi, and whole wheat pancakes. They taste delicious without damaging your kid’s teeth.
Your kid, after all, is still a kid. They are going to make mistakes, they are going to throw tantrums sometimes. Let them. It takes adults 19-21 days to form a habit, but kids require longer. It may even take two months for them to develop oral hygiene habits. You must be patient with them. If they don’t want to brush and floss their teeth at night, talk to them. Sometimes, treating your kids as adults works brilliantly!
Visit 67th Street Dental Clinic
Kids are often intimidated by dentists, which makes them avoid dental checkups. This may be okay when they are young, but the same fear can turn into a phobia when they grow up. So, you must take them to a child-friendly dentist who is welcoming and can engage with your kid in a fun and helpful way. This way, your kid will become comfortable with the idea of visiting the dentist twice a year.
Visit 67th Street Dental for a fun, positive experience for you and your child. We understand the importance of dental hygiene for kids, and we are passionate about helping your kid develop the best dental hygiene habits. Book an appointment now.