LOS ANGELES AND BAKERSFIELD, CALIFORNIA – For some children, brushing teeth is a chore. Our Bakersfield dental office has some helpful tips to get your child excited about his oral health.
Remember that during all aspects of your child’s oral health routine, a positive attitude will keep your child upbeat and optimistic.
Lead by Example
As the view of bakersfield cosmetic dentist, children love mimicking their parents’ actions, and your oral hygiene directly affects your child’s oral hygiene. Let your child watch as you execute your oral health routine. Show your child how you floss, brush and correctly spit out all the toothpaste from your mouth. Having a positive attitude associated with your oral routine can go a long way for your child. Don’t rush through the actions; instead, make them a cheerful ritual.
Talk with your child about how to brush correctly. Show him how to brush the tops of the teeth, the inside and the outside. Tell him to be careful to brush each tooth, from the ones in the front to the ones in the very back. Put on your child’s favorite song and dance as you brush. Not only will this introduce some fun into his oral routine, it will also ensure that doesn’t rush through his brushing time.
Get the Gear
Treat your child to a cool toothbrush and toothpaste featuring his favorite character. Colgate offers toothpaste and toothbrushes with pictures of Dora the Explorer, SpongeBob, Littlest Pet Shop and Bakugan. Crest products feature Spiderman, Hello Kitty, Sesame Street and Disney fairies. Letting your child pick his own toothbrush will help him feel independent, and he will be more likely to use a toothbrush willingly that he’s selected on his own.
Children respond well to the truth, especially when it’s put to them in simple terms. Sit them down and tell them why regular brushing and flossing is important to their health. This is also a perfect opportunity for parents to revisit why keeping our teeth and gums clean is so significant to overall health.
Regular teeth cleaning keeps bacteria from lingering in your mouth. Sugary diets can cause sugar to buildup in your mouth. Bacteria grow by feeding on the sugars, forming plaque. Inside the plaque, acids are produced, which eat away at our teeth’s enamel. The acids form holes, and once a hole is big enough, it’s called a cavity. Be honest with your child about how a cavity can develop, possibly resulting in the need for a root canal.
Let’s take a cue from our elementary school teachers. Teachers employ motivational charts to encourage good behavior, and likewise, parents can use brushing charts to inspire their children to brush. Love Your Teeth has a free downloadable chart that parents can customize with their child’s name. The chart shows daily icons for morning and nighttime, and once your child brushes at the expected time, he can color in the icon or cover it with a sticker. The Love Your Teeth chart lasts four weeks, and hopefully by the end of the cycle, the twice daily brushing will have become habitual.
We understand that life can get hectic. Between work, school, extracurricular sports and social events, families have crowded calendars. Make sure to squeeze in some time to bring your child to the dentist, and while you’re there, double up and set an appointment for yourself. When your child is old enough, ask your dentist about how Invisalign or another type of orthodontic treatment can give your child a straighter, stronger smile.
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