It’s very important to start teaching your kids about the importance of good oral health when they’re young. But how do you go about it without coming across as preachy? Here are some fun ways you can use to teach your youngster about how important it is to take good care of his or her teeth so that he/she has a healthy, beautiful smile that will last a lifetime.
Brush and Floss with Your Child
Every parent knows that their children mimic what they do. This is why you should get in the habit of standing in front of the bathroom mirror with your child when it’s time to brush and floss their teeth. You could make a game of it if your child is very young and even play some music your child enjoys listening to. Consider setting a timer for 2 minutes so your child learns to brush his or her teeth thoroughly. Show your child how much toothpaste to use and how to brush all of his or her teeth properly.
It is very difficult for kids under the age of 8 to floss their teeth themselves. If your child is younger than 8, you will have to help him or her floss by standing behind your child. Praise your child each time your brushing and flossing session is over and be sure to mention how great his or her teeth look.
Read Books about Going to the Dentist
Of course, your pediatric dentist will teach your child about the importance of maintaining good oral health. When it’s time to get your youngster ready for his or her first trip to the dentist, be prepared ahead of time as anything new can be frightening to your child. There are many great children’s books out there that are about a child’s first dental visit. Even though the dentist for kids you are going to will probably go out of his or her way to make your child feel comfortable and safe, it’s possible that your child will feel anxious before going as maybe he or she has heard negative stories about dentists.
Check sites like Amazon to find kid’s books about going to the dentist. Amazon’s a good site to use because it posts real customer reviews about the products it sells. If you run across a book that has many positive reviews written about it, you can rest assured that it’s a book worth buying.
Use a Mobile App
There are numerous low cost or even free mobile apps available which are designed to teach kids how to brush, floss and care for their teeth. A few to look for include Time2Brush, Monster Mouth DDS, Brush DJ and StarTeeth. When you’ve found an app you like and have downloaded it to your smartphone or tablet, sit down with your child so the two of you can use the app together.
Play Games Online
Some of the most popular toothpaste brands including AquaFresh and Colgate have loads of fun games on their websites just for kids. These games are designed to teach everything from kids dental health tips to learning what foods are good and bad for your teeth. The American Dental Association has a lot of great games, coloring sheets, quizzes and puzzles available on its website that you may find very helpful in teaching your child all about taking care of his or her teeth and making good food choices.
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Katie Beaber is a dental hygienist. She loves to blogs about parenting and health care for kids.