Integrated Family Community Services 3370 South Irving Street, Englewood, CO 80110-1816 Ph: 303-789-0501

5 Ways to Help Your Kids Take Care of Their Teeth

Taking good care of your teeth as a child is one of the best ways to ensure that your teeth will remain strong and healthy as an adult. When it comes to oral hygiene, however, kids’ habits often leave much to be desired. Children tend to be so active and easily distracted that keeping up with caring for their teeth seems like a tedious chore. If you have children who regularly try to avoid tooth brushing, flossing, and using mouthwash, you’re not alone. Plenty of parents are frustrated with feeling like they have to constantly remind, nag, or plead with their children to take better care of their teeth. If you can relate, here are some creative tips to encourage your kids to improve their oral care habits.

1. Use Positive Reinforcement

Psychologists, education professionals, and parents alike can all attest to the power of positive reinforcement for influencing children’s behavior. Rather than scold and shame a child into properly caring for their teeth, you can try to make oral hygiene a fun and exciting adventure. Hang up a sticker chart and allow them to earn a reward for a specific number of consecutive days of brushing their teeth, flossing, and using mouthwash. With this incentive, you’ll likely see a big improvement in your children’s oral hygiene habits.

2. Find Quality Oral Care Products

Any effective job requires the right tools. There are a plethora of tooth care products on the market, so it can be difficult to decide which ones will be best for your child. You can find out which products your dentist recommends, or you could check the website for the American Dental Association to find out which products are on their ADA seal shopping list. If you have a child who struggles with brushing long enough with a manual toothbrush you could research to find a quality power toothbrush. Some are even equipped with a light or music that goes off after the right amount of time has passed for a tooth brushing session.

3. Serve Tooth-Friendly Snacks

Choosing healthy snacks and making sure your child’s diet is rich in Calcium, Vitamin B3, Vitamin B2 and B12, and Vitamin C can go a long way toward improving their oral health. It’s also important for kids to cut back on sugary sweets, especially the kind that stick to the teeth. If you do occasionally allow your child to indulge in snacking that can cause tooth decay, encourage them to brush their teeth thoroughly as soon as possible afterward.

4. Take a Dentist Office Tour

Taking a tour of a local dentist’s office can be a great way to interest kids in oral hygiene. They can see the various dental instruments, find out what they’re used for, and discover why caring for their oral hygiene is crucial to their overall health. This is an especially helpful idea for kids who have had a difficult past experience with a dental procedure, or for children who fear going to the dentist or orthodontist in Charleston, WV.

5. Schedule Regular Oral Check-Ups

A critical component of helping your kids take care of their teeth is scheduling regular dental checkups for them. Many dentists recommend a visit every six months. At these visits, children can get their teeth checked for signs of cavities or other potential problems as well as receive fluoride treatments and cleanings. These visits will also give someone other than you the chance to explain to your child in detail how important it is for them to take care of their teeth.

Everyone wants a bright, beautiful, smile. Having strong, healthy teeth in adulthood begins with developing good oral hygiene habits during childhood. Parents play a vital role in this process. Hopefully, these tips will give you some of the tools you need to start your children off on the right foot when it comes to taking great care of their teeth.

Tim Esterdahl

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2 days ago

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