Did you know that many kids suffer from teeth damage than adults? One in three of them fail to brush their teeth often. Approximately forty percent endures tooth decay, and many lose baby teeth between 6 and 12 years old. A healthy oral formation is crucial for your growing toddler. It will not only aid in proper chewing and food digestion, but it will also combat pronunciation and speaking glitches. Not to mention your child’s improved social competence.
A minor dental issue like tartar shouldn’t be ignored; otherwise, it may lead to long-term complications and spoil your pocket. As a parent who juggles between work and family, making sure your child receives proper oral care at all times is definitely challenging. You want to prevent cavities, tooth decay, and further issues that may affect how they socialize in later life.
Here’s everything you need to know about your child’s dental wellness, along with some guides and tips to make brushing teeth a fun endeavor!
When Should Kids Start Brushing Their Teeth?
Some parents fall with the idea that the best time to allow children to brush their teeth is when they turn one year old and up. But no. You don’t need to wait until they are a bit older. Experts suggest that dental care should start before your infant’s first tooth emerges. Kids below six still lack the manual dexterity to perform brushing and stick to the routine. Hence, it is the parents’ responsibility to care for those little choppers until they acquire independence.
Even before babies begin teething, their gums are already prone to harmful bacteria. To cleanse it out, get a clean washcloth, dampen out, then run over the gums. Alternatively, use an infant toothbrush. You can start doing it a few days after birth. Make it a regular habit to protect his tooth, plus you and your baby will eventually be at ease implementing daily mouth cleanings.
Once teeth become visible (usually during 4 to 7 months old), brush them with a toothbrush ideal for infant use, along with a glass of water and grain-sized fluoride or baby toothpaste (ADA sealed). Children ages three years and above can use a pea-sized amount. Since little kiddos are likely to gobble up toothpaste, supervision is necessary every time.
Assist in brushing their teeth twice a day, every morning and before going to bed, within two minutes. Do regular flossing for those teeth that touch each other. Encourage rinsing off the mouth with water after meals to clear up food particles. They should also be able to brush their tongue and those hard-to-reach spots. Make sure to change their toothbrushes once the bristles wear out or every 3-6 months.
Make Your Child’s Brushing Session A Lot Of Fun With These Tips
Part of every parent’s struggle is telling your little ones to brush their teeth, only to be welcomed with a complaint or whimper. For them, it is tedious and a complete waste of time. You don’t want to fall in with your kid’s pleading look and later deal with mouth complications, do you? The same goes for your infant, who won’t even allow you to get the toothbrush inside his mouth.
We’re glad to share some valuable tips to help your child develop innate love for oral hygiene.
- Let your child choose his own toothbrush and toothpaste
Using a toothbrush and toothpaste according to your kid’s liking can go a long way in helping him learn to brush his teeth. He will feel more excited every time he grabs his oral kits. That means no more struggle or further convincing. Sounds good!
Get him character brushes instead of solid-color models, such as his favorite TV or movie character. You can also customize by using stickers. Allow your child to do the decoration however he wants. Just be sure they are firmly attached to prevent potential choking hazards. While for toothpaste, he is likely to choose the flavor he really loves, whether bubble gum, fruity or anything. There are tons of choices to accommodate his flavor needs!
- Or consider investing in an electric toothbrush
According to the American Dental Association, electric and manual toothbrushes are proportionately effective at cleaning children’s teeth. However, there are several reasons why you should opt for an electric version.
First, it is easier to use and offers more brushing power. Studies indicate that it can consistently eliminate plaque than traditional brushes. Plus, your child would surely love its excellent features like app connectivity for fun and games.
- Play their favorite song or use a timer to keep track of time
Children’s most common reason to resist tooth-brushing is that it is boring. They are more focused on having fun, and brushing is definitely the least of their priority.
One way to motivate and keep their interest alive during the two-minute session is by playing their favorite soundtrack or setting a timer. Why not turn brushing into a fun game? If you have two or more children, set a racing game in which they need to get all their teeth clean before the timer ends.
- Provide ample encouragement and praises
At work, even simple praise or acknowledgment stimulates us further to do our best work as possible. Children are no exception. You want them to anticipate brushing their teeth on a regular basis, and using positive reinforcement is one of your best options.
Leaving compliments is the basic approach. But if you want to be more creative, we can suggest creating a reward chart. Mark down those days they brush their teeth, then give small prizes or healthy treats as a reward. Just be sure to stay away from sugary drinks, sweets, and candies!
- Brush your teeth alongside your little one
Kids learn from their parents. They tend to imitate whatever their parents are doing. You can use this opportunity to teach them to brush and maintain the habit. Join them to brush and floss. For extra fun, make it a family affair. Play some music or anything that would make them more interested in participating.