Oral hygiene for kids can be very tough to enforce, but did you know that every cavity you prevent with good oral hygiene could save you $1,000? From 2006 to 2007, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention found that cavities increased by 15% among children between two and five. To save yourself some money, and save your child the health problems associated with tooth decay and poor oral hygiene, here are some dental tips for kids.
- Teach your child the proper way to brush your teeth.
- Make it fun to brush your teeth.
- Reward your kid for brushing their teeth.
Proper tooth brushing involves spending enough time to thoroughly brush every surface of the teeth after every meal. However, besides simply communicating the steps on how to brush your teeth to your child, you can tell them why you should brush your teeth, so that they understand. Even young children can develop gingivitis, and eventually peridontitis, so show your children pictures of the consequences, and discuss with them how oral health can affect overall health.
Some dental tips for kids include using dental teeth rhymes, or songs, that your kid can say in their head while they brush their teeth. To make it extra fun, you can sing the song or say the rhyme to them while you help them. Here is one rhyme, to the tune of “frere jacques,” which you can teach your child.
Round in circles, Round in circles
Scrub, scrub, scrub, scrub, scrub, scrub,
Jiggle them on the inside, Jiggle them on the inside,
Teeth are clean, Teeth are clean.
You can also play brush your teeth games. For example, make an agreement that your kid has to brush for as long as you can balance a broom on the palm of your hand, or do something equally as amusing. Make sure that the challenge is something that you can do for at least two minutes straight.
Other dental tips for kids suggest that you can treat tooth brushing like other chores, and reward your kid for completing the task. Use a “brush your teeth chart” which you can find many downloadable templates for online. You could also make your own, since they are simply a weekly or monthly chart where a kid can track for themselves and see how they are doing. After a full week of brushing teeth twice a day, you can reward your child with some special treat.
There are a lot of ways that you can encourage your child to be more diligent in brushing their teeth. Play a game with them, sing a rhyme, have them help you decorate a chart and decide on rewards for consistent brushing, or simply have a talk with them about the importance of healthy teeth. Later, when your child is old enough to understand, they will appreciate your efforts.