From scheduling your baby’s first dental appointment to brushing that first pearly white tooth, parents play a big role in establishing healthy oral care habits in children. But it’s not always easy to inspire kids to brush and floss and take charge of their oral health.
At Perfect Smiles Dental of Pleasant Hill, our team delivers top-notch family dental care to all members of your family, and that includes helping parents take care of their children’s dentistry needs. Here, Nupur Gupta, DDS shares tried-and-true tips for getting your kids excited about oral health care.
Brushing and flossing are important parts of your child’s oral care routine, but your kids may not be thrilled to brush their teeth twice a day. Using fun products is an easy way to turn a routine chore into an exciting morning and bedtime routine.
Examples of child-friendly dental products include:
Tip: Allow your child to choose their toothbrush or toothpaste flavor. This small act helps your child feel invested in their oral care. Just be sure that the toothbrush is the right size for your toddler or child and that the toothpaste features the American Dental Association’s Seal of Acceptance.
If you’re starting to teach your child how to brush or to explain why dental care is important, make the lesson more fun by using books or shows. Whether you head to the library to find age-appropriate books that teach about tooth anatomy or you watch video clips of your child’s favorite cartoon visiting the dentist, multimedia makes learning fun for kids of any age.
One of the biggest struggles parents may encounter is teaching a child to brush for a full two minutes. Playing a two-minute song can make the time more exciting. Find your favorite song, hit play, and dance while you brush!
Some smartphone apps feature two-minute timers, music, or animated videos to help kids brush for the recommended length of time and learn the importance of good oral care.
If you’re struggling to get your child to brush their teeth without a fuss, consider trying positive reinforcement techniques. Positive reinforcements help inspire desired behaviors — in this case, brushing teeth — and they don’t have to be complicated.
A few examples of positive reinforcement for oral care include adding a sticker to the calendar every time they complete their brushing and flossing routine. They could earn small rewards, such as extra TV time or a small toy, for completing a month of oral care routines without fussing.
One of the best ways to inspire your child is to model the behavior you want to see. When your children see you prioritize your oral health, they’ll eventually pick up the habits. As a bonus, every time you brush your teeth along with your child, you have an opportunity to create a fun memory together.
These tips are helpful for establishing healthy habits at home, but they can also help prepare your child for a trip to the dentist, too. Reading about dentists and what to expect at the dentist is a great way to ease a child’s jitters. For visual learners, watching age-appropriate videos on dentist visits can help squash the fear of the unknown and get them interested in what a dental care team does.
To learn more about pediatric dentistry or to schedule an appointment for your child, call our office in Pleasant Hill, California, at 925-578-4311 or simply click the appointment link today.