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Make Dentistry Fun for Kids, Helpful Tips to Try at Home

Starting your kids early on dental hygiene creates a lifelong foundation for healthy permanent teeth that can keep for a lifetime. Poor diet and habits in the first 2 year of life is linked to higher incidence of tooth decay in older children. Just because kids teeth are not permanent, doesn’t mean they should be neglected. Poor oral health from the very beginning is practiced for several more years even after children grow out their permanent teeth. Dr.C Family Dentistry will help you to learn some kids dentistry technique that you can try at home to keep your children’s teeth healthy. Create a solid hygiene habit for your children from the very beginning with the help of a dental hygienist or dentist.

Spokane Valley Kids Dentistry

Collect Fun Toothbrushes

Keep a variety of cool, colorful toothbrushes for kids to choose from each time they brush. This makes brushing time exciting. Children’s brushes are cheap and come in a large variety of colors and design. Make sure your children use only their toothbrushes and do not freely switch between their siblings. A small collection of 2 or 3 toothbrushes is enough to keep selection exciting. Replace kids brushes often, when the bristle look frayed or within 2 to 3 months.  Use kid sized toothbrushes with soft to medium bristles, only soft bristles for children under the age of 2.

Get Flavored Toothpaste

Taste and appearance goes a long way, kid’s toothpaste on the market come in flavors like bubblegum, strawberry, and watermelon. You can find novelty kid’s toothpastes online in fun flavors like cupcake and frosting. Toothpaste helps protect children’s teeth against cavities and bad breath. Kid’s toothpaste come in a variety of flavors and added bonus of colorful packaging to help encourage kids to brush. Only use a small amount of toothpaste on kid’s toothbrush. Many toothpastes recommend a pea-size amount, but you’ll do fine with even half a pea-size. More toothpaste does not make teeth cleaner. Proper brushing technique does most of the cleaning work. Do not use fluoride toothpaste or skip toothpaste entirely, with children ages 0-2.

Reward Them

Just the way adults reward themselves for going to the gym, reward your kids to reinforce a good behavior that they might not enjoy doing.  Create a reward system to motivate kids to do a good job. A reward can distract from that nightly fuss and tantrum before bedtime. You can make a reward chart counting points towards a big reward like a trip or a toy, anything you know will motivate your child.

Reward charts with a physical or visual mark are highly effective, for both children and adults. Reward a child with a colored pebble to collect or a sticker to mark a chart each time they brush or floss. An agreed on number of accumulated pebbles or stickers buys a prize. You can use this system for all kinds of behaviors you want to encourage in your child. And don’t forget to praise your child every time they do a good job!

Eating Healthy

healthy kids foodTeeth need nutrition too. Childhood is a crucial time for building teeth and bones. Help your child eat a balanced diet, rich in nutrition. Vitamin D, calcium, protein, vitamin A, phosphorus and magnesium are the teeth and bone building nutrients that helps development and strength. Calcium rich foods include milk, yogurt and cheese. Broccoli, some legumes, nuts and some seeds, are calcium sources for vegetarians. The largest food sources for vitamin D is milk, oily fish and egg yolk. We get the majority of our vitamin D from sunlight, but in countries that have long winters, there’s always a deficiency in Vitamin D, which will need to be supplemented by food sourced vitamins.


Avoiding Sweets

Most children like sweets, and many adults develop an unhealthy addiction in childhood. This is not to say you need to deprive your child of sweets when all their friends are eating candy. But you can lessen the quantity of candy available to your kids. Teach them early that candy, sodas, junk-food and having leftover food stuck on their teeth leads to tooth decay. A visual aid, showing tooth decay as menacing bacteria eating at their teeth is an effective tool to helps children grasp the concept of sweets as bad.

Teach Proper TechniqueProper kid's brushing technique

Proper brushing is actually difficult to establish, which is why even many adults do not know how to brush their own teeth correctly. Have a hygienist or family dentist teach you and your child proper technique. You can teach your child yourself with the help of a mirror, brush with your child, demonstrating proper technique. Face to face, with your face at the level of the child, is another way to teach brushing. You can also use a doll or let the child brush the “teeth” of the doll, for younger children.

Under the age of seven, continue to supervise and brush your child’s teeth until they are able to do it themselves. Never let a child swallow toothpaste or neglect rinsing with water after brushing. Use a gentle circular motion that meets the gums and make sure all teeth surfaces are touched. Establish a routine, front to back or left to right, to ensure you don’t miss any teeth. The minimum duration for brushing is 2 minutes.


One response to “Make Dentistry Fun for Kids, Helpful Tips to Try at Home”

  1. Rachel Lannister says:

    My brother moved to a new area and needs to find a good dentist he can take his son to. You wrote that a good way to get your kids ready for the dentist is by getting them into brushing their teeth, and rewarding them for being consistent about it. This would be a great exercise for my nephew, as he could show off his hard work to his fun new dentist.

Dr. Josh Chocran

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