Children of all ages should brush their teeth twice a day. In fact, even babies need oral care to keep their mouth and gums healthy and toddlers as young as two years old can brush their teeth with a bit of help from mom and dad. Teach them how to brush now to prevent oral health problems later down the road.
Kids turn to mom and dad for information, so show kids the right way to care for their teeth now for a lifetime of good oral health. Use these tips to teach kids proper oral health care. No matter the child’s age, these tips work to keep them on the right oral health care path.
Time to Learn About the Teeth
Good oral health care is easier when kids know what they are caring for. Give them a lesson about teeth before you hand them a toothbrush. It can be fun to learn about the teeth. Teach kids the different types of teeth, different locations, and the job each tooth has. There are 32 adult teeth. Incisors are the teeth in the front of the mouth. The cuspids are located next to each incisor. Premolars are located next to the cuspids. Molars form insets in the back of the mouth.
Kids books about the teeth, brushing the teeth, and otherwise taking care of the mouth are also helpful. These books help kids of all ages learn and understand their teeth and dental health. Books covering special dentistry topics are also available. Read these books to your little one or help them read the book aloud. Books are available to sign out from the local public library or can be purchased from the store.
Perform the Tooth Experiment
When kids see their teeth are dirty it makes them want to brush. Perform the plaque test at home with your kids to encourage them to brush. This is a neat experiment that is safe and completed easily in a matter of minutes. Many teachers use the experiment in their health class. Purchase plaque disclosing tablets from the local drugstore.
The dentist may also have some available to give if you ask him. Kids simply chew up the plaque disclosing tablet and wait a few seconds. The teeth turn pink where the plaque is present. This fun experiment works for kids of all ages. It inspires better brushing from your kids!
Buy the Right Toothbrush
Visit the drugstore’s oral health section to buy a toothbrush for the kids. But, before you rush to the drugstore, learn which toothbrush is best for your wee ones. There are toothbrushes designed for young kids which are smaller in size than an adult toothbrush. The smaller size is best for smaller teeth and easier to hold! Choose one of these brushes for your children. Some teach kids how long to brush their teeth using flashing lights and music.
Some feature characters that kids love. Let your children help choose their toothbrush. If they love their toothbrush, it inspires them to brush their teeth!
Older Children Can Help
Older kids are helpful to mom and dad in many ways. They’re especially helpful when teaching kids proper oral health, including how to brush their teeth. Little kids look up to their older siblings, and they tend to follow in their footsteps; everything that an older sibling does is simply fantastic in their eyes. They want to be just like their big brother or their big sister. If they brush their teeth, so will the younger kids. Utilize older children to help younger children brush their teeth. They will listen and mimic the behaviours they see!
Schedule Dental Appointments
Kids should visit the dentist by their first birthday. Even before the first tooth shows, mom and dad should use a soft cloth to clean baby’s gums. Then, schedule two dentist visits each year. Two annual dentist starts a lifetime of good oral health care.
It also reduces the risk of many common dental problems that ruin the teeth! The dentist will examine and clean the teeth during these visits. If cavities or other oral problems are found, the dentist treats the problems.
Make it Rewarding
Good deeds deserve rewards. Why not give the kids a reward when they brush their teeth? A reward is fun. It also encourages kids to keep brushing their teeth! Make a toothbrush chart to keep track of brushing habits. Let the kids help make the chart! Write each child’s name on the chart so each child can put a star sticker by their name every time they brush.
Kids who have all 14 stars at the end of the week get a small reward. Choose the reward you feel appropriate; funny stickers and erasers, mini coloring books and crayons, and small toys are great rewards that you can give for good oral health care.
Be a Good Role Model
Kids learn what they see others doing. Not only should older children help their younger siblings brush their teeth, parents should also make sure they’re good role models. Kids hold on to every word their parent says. Use this fact to create a good oral health care routine for everyone in the family. They look up to mom, dad, big brother, big sister, and other close relatives and friends. Practise what you preach. Be a good role model for the little ones and take care of your teeth!
Set your kids up for a lifetime of good oral health! The smile is one of the first things other people notice about us. It’s hard to smile if cavities, discoloration, chips, or other issues are there. It ruins our self-esteem and confidence. Even children feel the effects of tooth problems and suffer.
Teach kids to care for their teeth because they don’t grow back, and once they’re gone, they’re gone forever. Each tip above helps kids who are on the quest for good oral health. Use these tips in your home and make sure your kids brush their teeth and keep a beautiful smile for a lifetime!
No matter your age, dental condition, and if you have a million questions, Dr. Sims can assist you or your young children in a professional manner and loves answering any of your questions or concerns.
Dr. Sims grew up in Grimsby playing basketball, so he’s always up for talking about the Raptors! He’s also a football fan - go Buffalo Bills! In his free time, if he’s not watching a basketball game or football game, you’ll likely find him working out, cooking (got any new recipe ideas?), and of course, spending time with his amazing family.