Make brushing fun for your kids.
Every morning and night you may be fighting a battle that all parents across America fight: the groaning and whining that comes along with one simple phrase, “It’s time to brush your teeth”. But as parents, we fight the good fight because we understand the vital importance of dental hygiene for children.
In fact, cavities are the most common chronic condition of children in the United States, according to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention. Cavities (caries) that are left untreated can cause an infection in a child’s mouth, which can quickly escalate to a very dangerous condition.
Despite the peril that a cavity can create, it’s a condition that’s depressingly common in the US today:
- 20% of children between the ages of 5-11 years have an untreated cavity.
- About 13% of adolescents have a decayed untreated cavity.
- Children from low-income families have a 25% higher chance of having untreated tooth decay compared to high-income families.
To all the parents that are weary of fighting the teeth brushing battle, here are some tips for you!
Dental Hygiene for Children – Making it Fun!
- Start Early – It’s crucial to begin dental hygiene for children when they are just babies. As soon as they get their first tooth it’s important to begin the brushing process. To get your baby used to brushing, you can begin cleaning their teeth with a washcloth or finger toothbrush.
- Let them choose a toothbrush – Let your toddler take charge of their oral hygiene as soon as possible. Get them excited about picking out their very own toothbrush and toothpaste. Tell them they have toothbrushes with their favorite cartoon character, ones that light up, play music, and that even brush your teeth for you. The more exciting you make it sound the more excited they’ll be.
- Smartphone Apps – The 21st Century has made dental hygiene for children much more interactive. There are a lot of fun apps for smartphones that make toothbrushing fun for kids.
- Books and Videos – There are a lot of good books and videos that explain the importance of brushing and flossing in a way that relates to a child. Find that perfect book and read it every night or play that video on loop so your children can remember and internalize how important it is to keep their teeth clean.
- Rewards – Find a creative way to reward your children for brushing their teeth. Whoever brushes their teeth first can ride shotgun on the way to school, pick a show to watch later, or they get to play their favorite game after school.
Dental Hygiene for children is important, but there’s no reason it can’t be fun too! Contact Penn Dental Family Practice today, and meet our friendly pediatric dentists!