Preventative Dental Care for Children and Why It Matters

According to the Center for Disease Control, about 40 percent of children will suffer from tooth decay by the time they hit Kindergarten. Along with being one of the most common chronic diseases among children in the U.S., it’s also one of the most preventable. As soon as a child’s first tooth appears, they’re able to have a check up at the dentist. Simple preventative care will help stop cavities, offer knowledge to parents, and give the child an introduction to oral health and all that it entails. In addition to early check-ups for children, it’s important to implement good oral health habits while they’re young. The best way to get your little one to brush nightly is to make it fun! A few simple ideas can change the way your children look at brushing, and make the whole process easy and enjoyable. Here are a few clever ideas to get you started.
Make Up a Song
Sometimes all it takes to make toothbrush time interesting is a song. Come up with a song that your child can sing along to and get them in the mood for something fun. They may enjoy singing along with you so much that they’ll want to hear it even when it’s not time to brush their teeth. This gives them a bit of control over their oral health. Whenever they want to sing the song, it’s their idea to brush. You can make up a song yourself, or look online for some catchy tunes that you and your child can sing together like this one below.
Give Them Fun Toothbrush Options
These days, there are so many options for cool toothbrushes you can treat them like toys for your kids. Find toothbrushes featuring their favorite characters or cartoons, and have a variety of them that they can choose from. Giving them options, much like singing, gives them a bit of control over the situation, making them more likely to enjoy the process. Ask them which toothbrush they want to use, let them pick it out and make it a fun little activity for them. Kids will usually get attached to one particular brush for a while which makes buying new ones for them a nice treat.
Brush Teeth Together
The best part about brushing is that it’s a routine that can be shared in a positive way. Toddlers and small children love mimicking the grown up things you do; so sometimes simply brushing with them is enough to get them in the mood. Explaining that it’s what “big kids” and adults do gives them some incentive. You can even make it a game, instructing them to pretend like they’re a mirror while you brush your own teeth. A little challenge and a lot of patience can make brushing together a fun and exciting part of the day.
It’s important to always be gentle and patient with your little ones when dealing with brushing. The way you handle the situation can affect their attitude towards oral health for years to come, so taking it seriously and implementing fun methods is your best bet. As with anything, some children may be frightened or uncomfortable with brushing, in which case a trip to the dentist for some advice and inspiration may be a good idea. Once you have a good, solid routine in place, brushing with your child can be memorable, enjoyable and will give them the gift of a confident smile for years to come!