17 Oct Dental Tips for Kiddos
It can be difficult to teach children the importance of diligent tooth care. It can be especially difficult to convince them of that importance when they reach a certain age of independence, and would rather spend time doing other things. Everyone has heard the stories of a kiddo who, instead of brushing, rinses his or her toothbrush beneath the tap to make it “appear” recently used. But even children who have developed physical abilities that allow independence with a toothbrush or a strand of floss/interdental cleaner, there should be rules and a routine that’s followed, daily, to ensure that children are getting their teeth clean.
One rule that’s simple for everyone to follow, especially on weekdays when everyone’s going to school/work in the morning, is that no one leaves the house without two minutes of brushing. On the flip side, no one is allowed to go to bed at night without two minutes of brushing. Setting up these times at the beginning and end of the day establishes the same routine they will and should follow as adults.
Another simple method to ensure good habits, and even proper technique, is to have your child/children brush his or her teeth while you also brush. When you brush your molars, they do too; when you brush your front teeth, they do too. It’s a good method to engrain both the dexterity and muscle memory needed to navigate a toothbrush over all the teeth in the mouth, but it also established a precedent for the span of time needed to clean the teeth.
You should also supervise older children. No, you don’t have to hover over them every time they go to the sink to brush, but you should hold them accountable. Make sure that they are brushing: check the toothbrush for wetness; at times when it’s possible the child is being sneaky enough to run the toothbrush under the tap, then check the child’s breath for the smell of toothpaste.
Establish good oral care routines now, when your children are young, and hopefully they will continue to practice good oral health throughout life. And if you, or your child, is ready for a dental visit with your dentist at Silvercreek Family Dental—remember twice-yearly visits to the dentist are vital to oral health—then call today.