Everyone loves to see a great smile, but there are some smiles that you love more than others because they belong to special people in your life. If you’re a parent, those special smiles come from the faces of your kids. Edgewood Dental Care is a great place for families because we love those little smiles, too!
It is our mission to help parents learn to better care for their kids’ smiles. Part of that process is teaching your children to care for their own teeth. This generally happens between the ages of 2 and 3, but it can happen sooner or later. You’ll know your child is ready when he begins trying to brush his own teeth and gets upset that you don’t let him!
We put together some tips and tricks to help you with this process because while some kids are more than willing to take on the chore, others need some encouragement to get really excited for the process. Let’s take a look at some things you can do to help your kids get off on the right foot!
The Importance of Teaching Your Child Dental Hygiene
The first step is for you to understand just how important this process actually is! Many parents ignore their kids’ teeth and never take the time to teach those kids how to properly care for their smiles. This often results in a lifetime of poor oral hygiene, and an adult who had no idea his habits were bad for his teeth!
Take the time to teach your children from a young age so that when they reach adulthood, they already have the healthy habits necessary to protect their teeth for their entire lifetime!
How is it Done?
Teaching your child anything can be tricky, especially if it’s something they aren’t interested in, but we have some tips that we think will make the process easier for you. Let’s take a look at some of our staff’s favorite ideas for getting kids excited to brush their teeth!
Get Them Involved
The first step is to get them involved. When a child feels like this is their idea, they are more likely to participate! Whenever possible, give them ownership and freedom to do things their way. Keep this within reason. There are rules that must be followed, but when you see room to hand over ownership, go ahead and do so. Below are some ideas.
Picking Supplies – Let your child pick the new toothbrush and toothpaste (within ADA age recommendations). Your preschooler will be proud of that new brush and paste and will probably ask to begin using it right away!
Choosing Music – Brushing to music is a fantastic idea for many reasons. First, if gives your child something they can control. Second, it gives you a timeframe. Your child should be brushing for two minutes, so a 3-4 minute song is perfect for getting the paste on the brush, brushing, and rinsing.
Making it a Game – See if you and your child can come up with a fun game to play while brushing. Maybe you award points per tooth or see who can get the perfect blob of toothpaste on the brush. Whatever works for you, but don’t make it a race. Remember, we want them to take their time!
Show Your Expertise
Your children are always looking to you for answers to almost everything. This is one area where you can definitely showcase your expertise, which will make the process more interesting and more relevant to your child. Below are more detailed ideas.
Model Brushing – Let your child watch you brush! Grab an extra toothbrush and set up in their bathroom. Brush with your mouth wide open so they can really get a good look at what you’re doing, then encourage them to do the same!
Telling Stories – Let’s face it, kids love to hear stories in general, but stories about you and your past are probably their favorites! Tell your child stories about learning to brush and going to the dentist, but try to keep them lighthearted. If you had a scary experience as a child, tuck that one away for another time.
Answer Questions – Your little one is probably inquisitive. Answer those questions as well as you can! If there are some that you cannot answer, just let us know, and we will try to answer them while you are in the office with your child!
Keep it Positive!
Above all, you want to keep this experience positive for your child. If you reach an evening or morning where brushing teeth is causing a lot of distress, maybe try again later. We want this to be something your child views positively, not something they grow to hate.
Make Your Family’s Appointment Today
Is it time for your family to come into the office for cleanings and exam? Call today to schedule a family appointment. We can fit you all in at the same time! Contact our office to learn more. We can’t wait to see all of your favorite smiles!