Getting kids to brush their teeth, or even having to do it for them, can be one of the most daunting chores a parent has to face on a daily basis. In some cases the teeth brushing routine is as eagerly anticipated as the regular dental checkup (sarcasm) - but it doesn't have to be. No matter what the age, they must be told morning and night to go brush their teeth as if it’s something they’ve never heard of before. Forming a good dental hygiene routine when they are young will be of great benefit as an adult. But this is easier said than done. It takes a lot of diligence day after day to keep your child on track.
[update: check out our first monthly fun kids teeth brushing chart and turn the nightly floss and brush routine into instant entertainment!]
As with any lesson you want to teach your kids, you need the right tools. It’s always easier to get a task done when making it fun rather than a chore. So although your kids might not be as concerned about fighting plaque as you are, if you make it a game while teaching how to fight off cavities, they might even look forward to their new home care routine.
Fun Home Care Tips
- Let your child pick out their favorite toothbrush and toothpaste (as long as it’s age appropriate).
- Instead of using a timer for brushing, have your child pick out a favorite song and have them brush until it’s over.
- Sticker or reward charts work great for younger kids learning to brush on their own.
- Brush earlier in the evening when snacks are finished instead of right before bed. Children are more awake and tend to do a better job.
- For older children, they might like using a mouthwash that is tinted to show where they need to brush more.
Tips for Parents
- Schedule your child’s first dental appointment as soon as possible.
- Brush your child’s teeth twice a day until they can do it themselves. Even then, check nightly to see if all the food is removed.
- Start flossing your child’s teeth as soon as they touch.
- If your child plays sports, use an age appropriate mouth guard to protect the teeth from injury. Many mouth guards also protect from concussions as well.
- Discuss the benefits of sealants with your child’s dentist. Sealants help fill in the deep groves on top of the molars preventing future cavities.
We hope that these dental tips for kids are helpful. Feel free to share your own tactics in the comments section below. If you have any questions or want to make an appointment for a dental exam then call (203) 377 9308 or send us a message.