How to Make Oral Hygiene Fun for Your Kids

How to Make Oral Hygiene Fun for Your Kids

There’s a lot of teaching that comes with raising small children - from putting on shoes, to taking a bath, to buckling their seat belts, parenting goes hand-in-hand with teaching your children the basic skills they need to take care of their bodies. When your child is learning to brush their teeth, teaching can be, and should be, all fun and games. 

Our team of experienced providers at My Kidz Dentist in Phoenix, Arizona deeply understands the importance of teaching children positive associations with oral care. Teaching your child good oral health habits starts with you, but we’re here with helpful tips and tricks to get your child started on their oral care journey. 

When do I start caring for my child’s teeth?

As soon as your child’s first tooth pushes through the gums, it’s time to start their oral care. Caring for your child’s first tooth is as simple as using soft gauze, damped with warm water, ro wipe away leftover particles from their breast or bottle milk. You should do this after each feeding to care for tiny teeth. 

Your child should come for their first dental check up no later than age 1. Some parents do bring their babies in for a dental check-up before that age, and that is good for the child, too. For toddlers, their first appointment may require you to hold them in your lap while your provider examines their teeth and gums. 

You should share your child’s complete medical history with their dental provider, as it helps your child’s dentist understand what risks may face your child’s oral health. After their first appointment, your provider will schedule the next appointment for your child’s first dental cleaning.   

How can I convince my child to brush their teeth regularly?

However long it may take for good habits to be established, teaching your child the importance of brushing regularly is best done when it’s fun, with plenty of positive reinforcement. Some helpful tips include:

Let your child choose their toothbrush and toothpaste. 

If you take a trip down the oral health care aisle of any major retailer, you’ll notice a variety of brightly colored tubes of toothpaste for children in different flavors. These flavored toothpastes are less harsh for little mouths, and encourage regular brushing. 

Near these colorful toothpastes are toothbrushes made for children. They may feature characters from your child’s favorite cartoon, or have fun shapes and come in fun colors. Letting your child choose their own toothbrush gives them the chance to choose in this process, and offers them a little autonomy to make their own decisions. 

Brush with your child. 

Young children like to imitate others, and parents are their main influence. Grab your own toothpaste and toothbrush, and brush your teeth with your child. Show them how to old their toothbrush properly, and how to cleanse each surface of every tooth. If you can, try humming as you brush. Do a little dance to go with it. Making oral care fun can be easy if you do it together. 

Reward your child for their consistency.

Sticker charts, more quality time, and extra trips to the playground are just a few ways to let your child know that brushing their teeth regularly is a good thing. After they spit out the last of their toothpaste, give them a high-five, or a pat on the back to let them know they’ve done a good job. Little rewards are good for establishing habits, and good for your child’s self-esteem. 

Is it time for another check-up?

After their first visit to the dentist, your provider will need to see your child every six months for a professional cleaning. If going to the dentist makes them nervous, talk to them about the good job they’re doing in going for their cleanings, and that the dentist will help them stay healthy. If it’s time for your child’s next round of dental care,  call your provider at My Kidz Dentist, or book an appointment with us online. 

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