Dental Hygiene Tips for Kids
Every child has to know how to brush their teeth. It’s important that kids know that your teeth have to last you your whole life and that looking after their own dental hygiene is extremely important. These lessons are a lot easier to impart on very young children then later on in life, so therefore dentists recommend that your children can brush their own teeth before the age of four years old.
Strong, healthy teeth are important to children, but that doesn’t mean they see it that way. Some kids find the sensation of teeth-brushing unpleasant. Most love sugary foods and drinks, with little regard for what it might be doing for their dental health. So it will fall to their guardian to show them how to do it.
Show Them How To Do It
Children tend to imitate adults. They’ll wear their clothes, copy their mannerisms and try and speak the same way. This can be a good thing. This means that it will probably be easier to show them how to brush their teeth the same way you do (or you should). If they are watching you, take extra care. Children can just as easily pick up bad habits as good ones. So make sure to do it right.
Stress that they should start at the front and not the back. Take care to spend as long as possible doing it in front of them, because children are naturally impatient and will try to rush through it otherwise. Carefully brush your gums, showing them this. And don’t let them forget to brush the places they usually forget – behind the tooth and even the tongue. This shouldn’t be a hard habit for kids to get into, but if it is make sure to show them how to do it properly.
Explain To Them Why They Have To
A lot of people think they can get away with not brushing their teeth. These usually stem from habits picked up in childhood, and they’re completely wrong to think so. Gum disease is a big problem in the modern world. Some of the side effects can sound like something out of a horror movie. Kids aren’t going to naturally want to look after their teeth and unless they hear about the potential side effects of losing them they aren’t going to have much motivation to go about doing it.
There’s no need to find pictures of people who don’t look after their teeth in the slightest. These can be scarring to children. Instead, just find pictures of people with teeth that obviously haven’t been looked after, compared to people who have teeth that obviously have. The child should be able to figure out themselves which set of teeth they want, and explain to them that they need to have good dental hygiene if they want their teeth to last them a lifetime.
Show Them Other Ways To Maintain Their Teeth
Kids don’t always floss. Sometimes they don’t floss at all. This is completely wrong. They should know that flossing is important. It gets at places in their teeth that normal brushing doesn’t, leading to better overall dental hygiene. Again, you need to carefully guide your children through this – take extra care so that they know not to rush it. Also keep an eye on them as they start to floss, because kids can overdo it and end up hurting their gums.
Be careful when it comes to antibacterial mouthwash. Always ask your dentist before getting this for children. The stuff can burn at any small lacerations within the mouth. And even if you do get it, make absolutely certain that it’s from a trusted brand with ‘for children’ and ‘alcohol-free’ on the bottle. Mouthwash isn’t as important as any other part of keeping healthy teeth, but it doesn’t hurt in any way as long as you’re careful. Once more, show kids how it’s done – if they drink it you could have a problem on your hands.
Use The Right Toothbrush And Toothpaste
Kids often complain about brushing their teeth because they find the process uncomfortable or painful. So make sure that the toothbrushes they are using are suitable for them. Check for ‘soft-bristle’ on the packaging. Your dentist will prove to be an invaluable resource in this regard. As teeth experts, they’re going to know which sort of toothbrush is right for children. On top of this, make sure they change the toothbrush often. Persistent issues can arise if they don’t. A good time is usually about once every three months.
Another thing to watch out for is toothpaste. Toothpaste comes in many different types, brands, and flavors. Find one that doesn’t offend the taste buds of your children too badly. They’re much more likely to be willing to go through the process of brushing their teeth if the stuff they are using to do it doesn’t make their eyes water from how basic it is. Once again, your dentist will usually have a brand they like to recommend for young children.
Other Good Habits
While it’s usually recommended that kids do this twice a day (after breakfast and just before bedtime), in reality they should probably be doing it after every meal. Let them wait a few minutes between them, however, as brushing too soon after eating can lead to sensitivity problems and make it more difficult to convince them to brush.
Make sure they spend the right amount of time, too. Every tooth in their mouth needs to be brushed. They should be spending at least two or three minutes at it every morning. Even supplying a timer can be useful so that they have something that tells them that they’ve been doing it for long enough. Even get them to brush their tongues, as this will make their breath fresher. All of these will come together to give them a brighter smile and better overall dental hygiene. Dr. Johnson can be of assistance with dental check ups and cleanings for your children. Be sure to find a dentist that your child is comfortable with so that it is easier to establish these habits.