The best kind of dental care is preventive care. Everyone can agree on that. The problem is that a lot of children don’t like brushing their teeth or flossing, even if they know that’s what they have to do to prevent cavities. Here’s some ideas for you to help your children take care of their teeth.
Sealants If your kid’s dentist doesn’t do this already, ask about it at your child’s next appointment. A dental sealant is basically a thin sheet of plastic that is placed on a tooth to prevent cavities from forming. Getting sealants can help your child prevent tooth decay while he is in the process of learning proper dental hygiene.
Teeth Brushing If your child is hesitant to brush his teeth, try to find out why he doesn’t like it. Even doing something as simple as getting your child a new toothbrush or a different flavor of toothpaste can help change his attitude toward brushing his teeth. Make sure that your child’s toothbrush has soft bristles, too. Hard bristles don’t work as well and can make your child’s gums sore.
Flossing Whether you’re talking to dentist in Campbell town, New South Wales or a dentist in Chicago, Illinois, they’ll tell you the same thing: kids don’t floss as much as they should. If your child doesn’t like to floss, try letting them use flossers instead of dental tape. Unless they have very good motor skills, it can be hard for children to get the floss to move where they want it to when using regular floss.
Fluoride Using a fluoride rinse can help children prevent cavities and give protection to spots that they may have missed while brushing and flossing. If you buy your child a certain kind, it can also show him where he missed by temporarily staining his teeth a different color. Besides being beneficial to your child’s oral hygiene, fluoride can also be fun. Kids seem to love coloring any part of themselves.
Cut Down on Sugar If you ask your child what his favorite kind of drink is, he’ll probably respond with some type of sweetened beverage. Whether he like soda or iced tea, sweetened drinks are bad for his teeth. Even juice is horrible as far as tooth decay is concerned. Try to offer your child plain milk or water when he’s thirsty instead of a sugary drink. That’s not to say that he can never have anything sweet. The longer anything sweet is in a person’s mouth, the worse it is for their teeth, so encourage your child to drink sweetened beverages quickly instead of taking sips.
Praise Positive reinforcement is a great tool. Kids respond much better to praise than negative feedback, so try to find something that you can approve. If your child brushes his teeth before bed but doesn’t floss, focus on what he did right rather than what he did wrong. Praise him for brushing his teeth, then gently remind him that his teeth will be even healthier if he remembers to floss. If he is reluctant, go to the bathroom together to make sure it gets done. Rewarding him for taking care of his teeth by reading him an extra chapter or picture book before bed can also help.
Children tend to avoid doing things that are good for them, but they can learn to take care of their teeth with a little help from parents. If you take the time to teach your child, he shouldn’t have a problem keeping his teeth healthy.