Early Oral Hygiene and Getting Children to Brush Daily
The foundation for good oral hygiene is usually set during childhood. Our goal at Icard and Strein, Dentists in Harrisburg, NC is to offer early childhood patient education at the first appointment. We focus on helping you succeed in getting your child to know the importance of brushing at an early age. If you’ve already achieved this most important task of teaching your child to brush you have already done a lot to ensure the health of their teeth later in life.
It is, however, a difficult task for many parents to get their children to brush. It is not uncommon for the kids to throw a tantrum. Well, brushing and flossing are not the most exciting activities – they are only necessary.
We present some ideas you can use to promote early oral hygiene and get your child to brush daily.
Make Oral Hygiene Important
Yes, the fact that you want your child to brush regularly shows that you consider good oral hygiene important. But are you really passing the message across well enough?
Most people – of course, parents inclusive – are busier than ever these days. They are trying to get many things done while raising a family. This often means rushing through brushing and children can copy this.
Over-brushing is a possible consequence of rushing. This can lead to tooth sensitivity. Therefore, it is advisable to allow enough time for brushing, so you can do it slowly and carefully.
Do it Together
A common piece of advice for getting children to brush daily is that it should be made a family affair. Try to ensure your child is around most times when you are brushing.
You may play a game, dance, or do anything you feel might excite your child to want to join in. If you can find a way to present brushing and flossing as exciting, there is every chance your child would desire to join in the fun, and regularly.
“Follow-the leader” is an example of a game to make the whole experience thrilling. You could also play the song your child loves the most while brushing.
Get Help from a Model
If you don’t get very far by making brushing and flossing a family affair, you may want to bring in your child’s favorite character. Does he like Sponge Bob, Mickey Mouse, Homer Simpson or any other character? Look for TV episodes or storybooks with relevant parts you can use to send the message.
If you are unable to find something useful for the favorite character, you can bring in anyone your child adores so much. This might be your babysitter, a relative, or even his favorite teacher to make him see the importance of good oral hygiene.
Play the Tooth Fairy
It may be helpful to bring in the mythical Tooth Fairy in some cases. This approach often involves an element of fear to encourage good oral hygiene.
There are different ways you can use the Tooth Fairy to encourage daily brushing. For instance, you could post a letter from the fantasy figure on the bathroom mirror warning she might not collect your child’s teeth if they fall out due to poor oral care.
You may also leave half the usual amount under the pillow when your child loses a tooth. Accompany the payment with a warning note from the Tooth Fairy that none will be given if another tooth is lost as a result of poor oral hygiene.
Provide an Incentive
You could promise your child something they will love if they brush daily. This is not necessarily a bad thing when dealing with young kids. You could offer extra pocket money for doing this.
Alternatively, you may tell your child there will be no play or television time until he has brushed his teeth.
Go to a Professional
If your child still won’t brush after doing all we have suggested, it may be time to pay a visit to Doctor’s Icard in Strein, Harrisburg dentists. Such an expert may be better able to explain to them what could happen to their teeth when they don’t maintain good oral hygiene. Images of tooth problems could make a difference.
But it is important that you don’t threaten your child with a visit to the dentist if he doesn’t brush. This can cultivate fear of visits to dental offices.
Our Harrisburg NC Dentist Office
To learn more about dental treatments from Icard & Strein Family Dentistry, or to schedule an appointment, call our Harrisburg, NC dental office today at 704.455.5003.