As adults, we often run through the motions of getting ready for the day with very little thought. Showering, brushing your hair, dressing, and brushing your teeth are all habits we've developed that make us feel better and ready to face the day. However, kids are new to this planet and often don't know the benefits of these routines. They see toothbrushing as a distraction, an activity keeping them from doing something they really want to do. Here are a few things to encourage your child to take care of his pearly whites and make oral health a daily habit. Start Early
Before your baby even has teeth, start using a soft wet washcloth to wipe their gums and tongue. It will get your child used to you taking care of her future teeth. Make sure to take your child to the dentist early and take them with you when you get your teeth cleaned. Show them that it doesn’t hurt and that it’s something you do as well! The American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry recommends that your baby see the dentist when that first tooth erupts, or no later than their first birthday.
Monkey See Monkey Do!
Your child wants to be like their favorite people – you! Take your children into the bathroom with you when you brush your teeth. Show them that it doesn’t hurt to floss. Hand them their own toothbrush to use while you brush your teeth. Or even let them brush your teeth for fun! Have your child brush their own teeth first and let them know they are doing a fabulous job. Then ask if you can get the last really hard to reach spots in the back.
Make It Fun
Children will often respond to brushing their teeth when its fun. Buy a toothbrush with their favorite character on it or one that lights up. Or sing a song while they brush. Use hand held flossers made for kids. And let educational tools help do the teaching. Sometimes kids just don’t listen to their parents, but they might absorb the message from their favorite TV show character.
Dr. Reese provides pediatric cleanings (kids get a toy and a special bag with their own toothbrush and toothpaste) to prevent cavities, frenectomies for children with tongue or lip ties, and traditional or ceramic braces for teens and pre-teens. We practice minimally-invasive dentistry for if they do get cavities, which like laser dentistry, is as pain-free as possible (there are also various sedation modalities that can be used). And as your child is getting ready to become an adult, Dr. Reese can also help with wisdom teeth removal.