Did you know? According to the CDC, cavities are one of the most common chronic diseases of childhood in the United States. About 20% of children ages 5 to 11 have at least one untreated decayed tooth. The good news? Cavities and tooth decay are extremely preventable if children are taught proper dental hygiene! One of the best ways to help your children keep their teeth healthy and strong is to teach them proper brushing early on.
However, as dentists, we know that’s often easier said than done. Some children take to brushing right away and have no problem establishing a routine, while others need some more assistance and guidance. Here are some tips and tricks to help keep your little one’s smile healthy and strong and encourage brushing.
Establish a fun family routine
Trying to establish a dental routine? Lead by example! Just like when you’re trying to get an extra serving of veggies on their plate, children are more likely to do something if they see you doing it as well. After all, young kids love to imitate their parents. Bring them in the bathroom with you each morning and night when you brush and floss and make sure to give them the option to do so as well.
Making it a family affair also helps you keep an eye out for healthy habits. One of the most common things we see in children’s mouths is teeth that are missed when brushing. By being in the room with them, you can make sure they are practicing proper brushing techniques and getting every tooth done.
Older kids in your house? Don’t be surprised if they aren’t brushing their teeth either! Many parents assume that their children have a dental routine down by a certain age, however, kids can be forgetful! If you suspect your child has dropped the ball in their oral health, feel free to play detective. Check to make sure their toothbrush is wet at the end of every morning and evening. A dry toothbrush is usually an indicator that their teeth are not getting the cleaning they deserve!
Make it fun
Just because brushing your teeth is a routine doesn’t mean it can’t be fun! Try blasting one of your kids favorite songs to help them reach the full two minutes. There are also a handful of teeth brushing apps and videos to keep your kids entertained during the process. Whatever you do, getting creative ensures it becomes something your kids actually look forward to doing each day.
What are some of your tips and tricks to ensure your kids are brushing their teeth?