Do your kids always forget to brush and floss their teeth, or do they complain when you constantly remind them? This can be quite normal with kids of all ages, but there might be things you can do as a parent to help your kids enjoy taking care of their teeth. Here are two ideas that might help.
Make A Chart
Brushing and flossing are important tasks for people of all ages, yet many kids do not understand the benefits or purpose of this. The best way to get your kids to do these tasks daily without being told is to start them out right when they are young. You may need to help them at first, but once a child is around four years old, he or she should be able to thoroughly brush his or her own teeth.
To encourage them to do this, you could create a chart to hang on the bathroom wall. The child could check it off each day when he or she brushes, and at the end of the week or month, you could reward the child with a small prize or trip to the ice cream shop.
As you make this chart, you could consider adding a picture of teeth that are not taken care of. This may help your kids understand the importance of brushing, and this could also open up the opportunity for you to explain how cavities form.
In addition to this, you could consider buying chewable tablets that show plaque, often called disclosing tablets. These are similar to the products dentists use in dental school, and the purpose is to show where plaque is on the teeth. If you chew one, it will leave dye on areas where plaque is located. Letting your kids use these could help them understand that plaque is real, but they can also learn that brushing their teeth is the best way to remove this harmful substance.
Get Fun Equipment
It really only takes a toothbrush, toothpaste, and roll of dental floss to keep your teeth clean; however, offering the right types of these items can also make a difference. For example, some kids have more fun using electric toothbrushes. This is often because they're fun, they may light up, or they may play music. You may also be able to purchase these brushes with their favorite cartoon or TV characters on them.
When you sense that the toothbrush is no longer any fun, take the child to the store and let him or her select a new one to use. You could even tie this in with the chart you have on the wall by only allowing your kids to get new ones if they brush consecutively for an entire month.
You may also want to look into options with toothpaste, dental floss, and mouthwash. There are brands for all three of these items that are catered towards kids. Choosing these types may help your kids want to take care of their teeth.
One additional item you could consider getting is a water flossing device, which is a device that sprays water on the teeth as a way to clean them. While using this will not eliminate the need to brush, it can help kids have cleaner mouths. According to recent studies, water flossers are extremely helpful for:
- Reducing the chances of developing gingivitis
- Removing biofilm, which is a type of plaque
- Minimizing bleeding from gums
- Helping kids keep their braces clean
If you start your kids out right with good daily oral care habits, these habits might continue into adulthood. You should also make sure you take your kids to a good pediatric dentist regularly. Pediatric dentists may be able to help you come up with more ideas to get your kids interested in brushing. Continue here to find more information.