Simple Tips for Encouraging Kids to Look After Their Teeth

 Emma Kalman
  Mar 22, 2018

If you have young children, then you’ll already know it can be a real struggle to get them to look after their teeth. Encouraging them to develop a good dental hygiene routine can be challenging, to say the least. It is also important not to overestimate a child’s ability to brush and floss on their own. Many younger kids simply don’t have the dexterity required to adequately clean their teeth and most will fail to brush for the recommended two minutes each time.

The good news is that there are numerous dental care products on the market that are specifically produced for children. Choosing a product that your child will find appealing and fun to use can go a long way in helping to develop good oral care habits. Listed below are a few tips as to how you can encourage your child to look after their teeth.

Choose the Right Toothpaste

Children can be very fussy, especially when it comes to using toothpaste. They may find the texture or taste of a toothpaste unappealing, making them less likely to brush regularly. You might need to buy a different toothpaste for your child to help encourage better brushing habits. There are several companies that make toothpaste aimed at children and which have received the American Dental Association seal of approval.

The ADA also recommends that children under the age of three only use a smear of fluoridated toothpaste no larger than a grain of rice. Children aged between three and six can clean their teeth with a pea-sized amount of toothpaste. Older children will need a larger amount, but generally, this is no more than a small squeeze of toothpaste. Your kid’s pediatric dentist can offer you advice on how much toothpaste to use.

This includes information about suitable brands of toothpaste to choose for children.

Purchase a Toothbrush That Appeals to Kids

It’s not uncommon for children to only brush their teeth for a short while, certainly not long enough to effectively remove plaque. When a child is younger, their parent or caregiver will generally need to assist them with tooth brushing, ensuring that their teeth are properly brushed. However, school-age children will probably want to be more independent. They may still lack the skills and the attention span to brush thoroughly for the full two minutes each time.

This is where purchasing an electric or battery-operated toothbrush can be extremely effective and there are a number of child-friendly options. An adult electric toothbrush will alert users every time 30 seconds has passed until the full two minutes brushing is completed. A child’s toothbrush can be a little more interactive which makes it much more kid-friendly and fun to use.

There are a couple of companies making kids toothbrushes that will play music during brushing, or alternatively, you could think about downloading an app. These can provide incentives for kids to brush and valuable feedback from parents. A couple of kid’s toothbrush manufacturers that include Oral-B and Philips Sonicare have Bluetooth technology that will connect to an app.

There is nothing wrong with using a manual brush. If you don’t want to purchase a power toothbrush for your child, then make sure you buy them a child-sized manual toothbrush. Once again, there are lots of companies that make child-friendly toothbrushes that are brightly colored and often in the shapes of their favorite cartoon characters. It is important to buy them a kid’s toothbrush.

This is because this will have a smaller head that will fit comfortably right to the back of the mouth, making it easy for them to thoroughly brush their teeth. If your child does use a manual toothbrush then either buy them their own personal timmer for the bathroom or encourage them to use an app.

Don’t Forget About Flossing

It is essential to floss each day as otherwise, the contact areas in between each tooth can develop tooth decay. The gums might become inflamed with a periodontal disease which can be very serious. Getting your child into the habit of flossing from an early age will give them a great start in life. Building dental routines that will help keep their teeth and gums healthy and strong, hopefully right throughout their lifetime.

Although they might hate flossing now, they will definitely thank you later on for ensuring they have this routine. Flossing can be very tricky for kids because it does require quite a bit of dexterity. You will probably need to floss your child’s teeth for them until they are about age 10. Your kid’s pediatric dentist can show you how to floss your child’s teeth for them.

When your child is old enough, they can work directly with your kid to ensure they learn the correct flossing techniques right from the start. As an alternative, you could always think about purchasing an electric water flosser. It can provide a young child with a much easier and very effective way to clean in between their teeth. Once again, there are water flossers produced specifically for children.

When to Ask Your Pediatric Dentist for Help and Advice

Pediatric dentists NYC are accustomed to helping parents and caregivers, providing useful education and practical demonstrations on how to brush and floss a young child’s teeth. Dental education is a vital part of any kids’ dental office, so you should always ask the help and advice if there’s something you are unsure of. Is also a huge advantage in having your child taught the proper brushing and flossing techniques by a dental professional.

This is because they will make sure your kid learns the proper way to look after their teeth. This gives them that vital head starts in maintaining great dental health for life. This dental care and advice begin from the moment you first take your child to see a kid’s dentist which ideally should be by age 1.

Finding a Good Pediatric Dentist

If you haven’t yet found a good dentist for your child then you could ask relatives, friends and other parents for their recommendations. You can alternatively check out online reviews for dentists. Another thing to do is to read the profile pages for pediatric dentists and their dental team. This will give you a good indication as to the type of dental office and the qualifications held by the staff.

Simple Tips for Encouraging Kids to Look After Their Teeth

Emma Kalman

Emma started writing at a young age and as she grew so did her passion for the art. Thus, she has learned to do thorough research and write educating articles.

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