Oral hygiene is important not only to our mouths but our bodies, as well. Complications like advanced gum disease can significantly increase our risk of heart disease, stroke, and even cancer, which is why establishing and maintaining good oral hygiene is so important. Unfortunately, when it comes to children, logic isn’t the best persuader. Between laps around the house to frequent naps, it can be difficult to garner a child’s attention, especially when it concerns something as mundane as a toothbrush.
Even though the task is hectic, it isn’t impossible. Breaking down brushing, flossing, and visiting the dentist into terms they can understand is a great place to start, but afterwards you can try these four helpful tips.
Get Them Involved
Much like adults, kids thrive when they’re given more control over a task. Next time you visit the grocery store with your child, lead them to the oral care aisle and have them choose a toothbrush. Bonus points if it’s decorated with their favorite character! Do the same with the toothpaste while talking them through the different options, and what factors they might consider.
Play Follow the Leader
If there is one thing children enjoy, it’s playing games with adults. Whenever night time hits and it’s time to brush and floss, have your child follow your movements as best they can. If you brush your bottom teeth, they brush their bottom teeth. If you wrap floss around your finger, they wrap floss around their finger. Try to make funny faces, sounds, or all the above. The trick is both imitation and demonstrating that oral hygiene can be fun.
Brush and Dance
Another fun way to get your child involved in their own oral hygiene is by playing music for them while they brush their teeth. The American Dental Association suggests that you brush for at least two minutes, so choosing something with similar timeframe is key.
Tell Them a Fairy-tale
Children love stories just like adults. Not only can they keep us entertained, but they can teach us how to think, and act. Just before it’s time for brushing, tell your child a story about how it’s up to them to keep their mouths safe. Like most stories, we like to imagine ourselves as the protagonist. By creating a fun narrative they can associated with brushing, you’re getting them more involved in the routine.
In the meantime, if you haven’t had a check-up in some time, it’s time to schedule an appointment. The American Dental Association recommends a check-up and cleaning every six months. This way, you can stop small problems from becoming bigger in the future.
Are you looking for a dentist to maintain or restore your oral health in Scripps Ranch or Mira Mesa? Please call (858) 271-1010 or contact us online today for an appointment with Dr. Goshtasbi at Oasis Dental Arts.