Expecting a new child is an exciting time. With children, we are given the opportunity to pass on all of the knowledge we have gained over a lifetime of experiences. But the one set of life skills we often don’t think of sharing is that relating to our oral hygiene.
Preventing dangerous oral health conditions begins at birth. From the moment that first tooth comes in, you can begin getting your child accustomed to an oral hygiene routine. But how do you keep them interested even as they age?
February is National Children’s Health Month. To celebrate, we have some tips that can help you make sure your child stays adamant about protecting their oral health.
Head down the toothbrush aisle of your local Walmart or Target and you are bound to find all manner of fun toothbrushes designed especially for children. These toothbrushes are often colorful, and some are even modeled after their favorite characters.
What’s great about these toothbrushes is that they are made specifically for children when it comes to the brush head. Soft-bristled brushes are best for young children, and picking up a children’s toothbrush is guaranteed to provide a brush head that fits their needs.
Children’s toothbrushes also age with your child. As they grow older, you will be able to find fun electric toothbrushes, getting them used to that form of brushing.
Kids learn by example. Are you providing the best model for your children to follow? You should be brushing your teeth at least twice per day after meals. You will also want to make sure you are flossing at least once per day.
When it comes time to brush and floss, have your kids there with you. You can make it a fun event where everyone gathers in front of the sink for a 2-minute family bonding experience.
One of the best ways to motivate children is to associate a reward with good behavior. A lifetime of good oral health is worth a little bit of bribery; you’ll thank us when they don’t need cavities filled in their teen years.
One way to keep your child engaged is to make a game out of it. Put a calendar up on the wall and every time they go a week or a month with perfect brushing and flossing, they earn a prize. You’ll see their face light up in joy with each day they check off, and you can rest assured that smile will stay strong as they’re practicing proper oral hygiene techniques. We’ll leave the prize up to you.
There are actually many foods that are good for your teeth. Foods like yogurt and apples, almonds and celery. These foods all work for the good of you and your child’s oral health.
Put the trick into treat and convince your child that these foods are all special occasion foods. Reward good behavior with an apple or their favorite yogurt flavor. They’ll get the satisfaction of eating something they think is special and you’ll be able to rest assured that they aren’t harming their teeth with candy and other sweets.
One interesting new innovation in mouthwash is that they’ve created a formula that causes plaque and debris in the mouth to turn blue.
This can be both fun and illuminating. Not only will your child have the pleasure of turning their mouth blue, they’ll see first hand what exactly it is that they’re fighting by brushing and flossing.
This tool is also useful because it can reveal deficiencies in your child’s oral health regimen. Children often have trouble getting the motions down when they first learn how to brush their teeth. By showing them everything they are missing, your children will have a better idea on how to improve their habits.
As a last choice, you could always scare your child down the road of good oral health. Consequences do a good job of encouraging proper behavior, and the consequences of failing to properly care for your oral health can be very persuasive.
The internet is full of photos of the effects of tooth decay and gum disease. A simple Google search will give you everything you need. Show your child the consequences of failing to care for their teeth and we’re sure they’ll see your point of view.
The final tip we have for keeping your child’s oral health safe is to take them to their regular dentist visits. During these visits, Dr. Leonard Schwartz will check to make sure no oral conditions are beginning to take hold of your child’s oral health. They will also receive a normal hygiene cleaning.
Is it time for your child’s regular office visit? Or perhaps you are ready to take your new child in for their first visit. Regardless, Thornhill Periodontics is ready to help. Contact our office and schedule a consultation today.
Dr. Leonard Schwartz
8500 Leslie St. Suite 540
Canada L3T 7M8
Monday: 7:30am – 4:00pm
Tuesday: 12:00pm - 8:00pm
Wednesday: 12:00pm - 7:00pm
Thursday: 7:30am – 5:00pm
Saturday: 8:30am - 4:00pm (alternates)