One in four children will have one or more cavities before entering kindergarten. Annually more than 51 million school hours are lost each year due to dental related problems. Starting a dental care routine with your kids early on helps prevent dental related problems and help reduce the amount of time your child misses school. With a child’s playful nature you can take several steps to build an effective and fun routine!
Model healthy dental care habits for kids
Kids take after their parents, and from an early age they mimic what they see. Make time each morning and night to brush together as a family activity. If they see that taking care of your teeth is important to you, it will become important to them as well. This is a great opportunity to monitor if they are brushing correctly and show them how it’s done properly.
Pick kids dental products that are fun
Let your child choose their own toothbrush and toothpaste. With all the different colors and character themed toothbrushes, as well as the different variety of flavored toothpastes available, it is certain they will find a favorite. Plus fun colors, characters, and flavors make it more likely that a child will want to create a habit.
Fun ways to get kids to brush and floss teeth
There are many different fun activities that can be incorporated into the routine that can reduce the hassle and struggle.
- Move around while you brush. Dancing or even pacing can make the time pass to encourage your family to brush for long enough.
- Create a contest of who can brush their teeth the longest to make sure they brush for 2 minutes.
- Use a brush chart to track a child’s progress. Stickers and small prizes are a great incentive to create a healthy habit. There are numerous apps for your smartphone that will also digitally track your child’s brushing habits.
- Use a brush timer to count down the full two minutes. One of the biggest mistakes that people make, especially children, is not brushing for long enough.
- Create a storyline where your child is a hero fighting the monsters or villain (bacteria and sugar) in their mouth with their sword (toothbrush).
- Dance while brushing to your child’s favorite song. Dancing to a song makes it enjoyable for your child and helps you make sure that they brush their teeth for at least 2 minutes
Create a dental care reward system
Creating a reward system is an effective way to make sure your kids are brushing for the complete two minutes that is recommended after meals. Simply create a chart where kids can collect the stickers they receive for brushing. After they gather a certain amount of stickers, they can collect them for a healthy treat or a prize. This will motivate them to brush their teeth every day.
Start taking steps to establish a routine with your kids from an early age. Even babies need dental care for their health and development. Stress the importance of good dental hygiene and make sure that your child visits the dentist by their 1st birthday. Jefferson Dental offers special care for young patients at 70+ dental office locations. Plus we accept Medicaid, most PPO insurance plans and even offer patients with no insurance up to 50% off dental care with our exclusive Dental Savings Plan.
Schedule an appointment at the Jefferson Dental & Orthodontics office nearest you today!