Here at Dr. Openshaw’s office in Modesto we strive to educate on how important prevention is for all ages but this month for Childrens Dental Health month we will focus on your young ones. Here are a few tips to help you help them! It is also very important that they start seeing the dentist on a regular basis and at an early age. If they have teeth we can see them. Bring them in for a chair ride and to meet the dentist. They get stickers and a goody bag and you get to start them on the road to a lifetime of positive experiences in the dental chair. Call us to schedule today at (209) 524-4763
Basic Tips for Encouraging Kids to Brush
1. Start early. Before you ever buy baby’s first toothbrush, you can wipe new baby teeth clean with a soft cloth. Toddlers who are already used to having their teeth cleaned are often far more receptive to the idea of brushing their teeth later on.
2. Model the habits you want to see. You are your child’s first teacher and role model. Let them see you brush and floss daily, or better yet, make brushing and flossing a family affair.
3. Don’t underestimate the power of fun. Sometimes, all it takes is a toothbrush with a favorite character or one that lights up and plays music to encourage a child to brush. Singing special songs can also make the ritual a lot more fun, particularly if you’re willing to make a total fool of yourself.
4. Choose the right toothpaste. Whether you’re for or against fluoride, looking for the most natural product or just the cheapest, there’s one thing you have to consider: taste. A child who enjoys the flavor of his or her toothpaste is more likely to enjoy brushing. Remember to only use a pea sized amount, especially when the children are just learning.
5. Buy the colored, hand-held flossers. Its a fact that most children prefer color. If it looks fun them it probably is. You can get colored flossers and also even shapes! Dinosaurs, fish or other animals help to create a fun time flossing! Kids love flossing with them, but the rule is that they have to brush first. Another way to ensure that they are always eager to brush their teeth.
6. Create a rewards chart. Motivate your kids to brush their teeth with printable rewards charts where they can keep track of their daily brushing and earn rewards for consistently completing the task.
7. Rely on educational tools. Often, children pay more attention to a message when they don’t hear it from their parents. You may have better luck getting those teeth brushed if you read books about dental hygiene or pop in a video like The Adventures of Timmy Tooth. Youtube has many videos that display toothbrushing technique. You can view these with your child for fun!
The main point is to start early and be consistent. Make it fun and make it frequent!
Philip Openshaw DDS