Being a kid is hard work; you have school, activities, family time and playtime. Kids are just learning how to take care of themselves and require the proper guidance from their parents when it comes to oral health.
Teeth brushing is a necessary skill every child needs to learn. Helping your children get into the habit of brushing twice a day for two minutes each is a big ask for most rowdy kids, but with a little creativity, you can go a long way in helping your kids maintain their oral health.
According to cdc.gov, more than half of adolescents aged 12-19 have had a cavity at least one of their permanent teeth, while children aged 5-19 from low income families are twice as likely to have cavities.
Here are some of our top tips to get your kids in the groove of brushing their teeth.
Makethose 4 minutes FUN
It takes more than just setting a timer and supervising – brushing twice a day for two minutes each can be a fun event. Put on your child’s favourite song and turn the brushing session into a little dance party. You can also use fun videos or brushing apps to help make the time fly by. You can even try reading a two-minute story. Just keep it creative so brushing time is a good time.
Make a routine and stick to it
After a long day, it may be tempting to let your child skip brushing, especially if they throw a fuss. As tempting as it is, keep at it. The more second-nature brushing is for your kid, the easier it will be to make sure they keep brushing twice a day for two minutes.
Reward good brushing behaviours
Children have a lot of motivators. Maybe if your kid likes stickers, make a reward chart and let them add a sticker every time they brush. If they enjoy books, let them pick out a bedtime story. It’s also helpful to provide positive affirmations, including lots of: “I’m proud of you” followed by hugs and high fives. It might be a little counterproductive to include sweets as a treat, however.
Get them involved
Let your child pick out their own toothbrush and toothpaste. Letting them be a part of the process and have some independence promotes that continued behaviour in the future. Not to mention, they get the added enjoyment of making brushing time more colourful and fun, especially since fluoride toothpastes come in a variety of colours and flavours.
Make it a group activity
Children often model the behaviour of their parents, so by brushing along with them, you encourage them to keep at it. If your kid sees mom or dad brushing carefully for two minutes straight, they’re more likely to keep up with the same behaviour. Not to mention it’s a lot more fun to do things togehter.
What to do if your child damages a tooth
If your child gets a tooth chipped or broken, regardless of if it’s a baby tooth or a permanent tooth, you need to bring them to a dentist right away. You have the option to bring your child to a pediatric dentist or your family dentist, depending on who is available. This Bradford dentist offers a multitude of options for families.