One of the many struggles parents face today is trying to get their children to brush their teeth. Most Children do not enjoy brushing their teeth either in the morning or at night. Children feel as though their teeth are the last of their worries as they don’t have time to brush their teeth because they are too busy doing other things such as playing, learning and becoming independent. So, to get your children to brush their teeth every morning and night, oral health needs to start at an early age.
The first thing that a parent should do when facing stubborn children who don’t want to brush their teeth is to get your child/children into a special routine for morning and night. Do this routine every day, even on the weekends until it becomes a natural habit for your child. For young children, you should stay and brush your teeth with them to teach them how to do it properly and ensure that they are doing a good enough job.
Using different techniques can help in getting your child to learn proper oral health and keep it fun, like making games out of brushing your teeth! Or playing their favourite song so that they can have a short dance party. Go shopping and let your child pick their own toothbrush/toothpaste with their favourite cartoon character or superhero, this will get your child in front of the bathroom sink in no time! Or, make a reward chart and let your child add a sticker every morning and night that they successfully brush their teeth. At the end of the week, if your child has 14 stickers then they get a treat/reward. The treat could be a new toy, a trip to the movies or some junk food, whatever you may think is appropriate for your child.
If your child is having fun whilst brushing their teeth then it is most likely that your child will want to start brushing their teeth on their own every day without parents having to constantly check up on their oral health. Basically, if you reward your child for doing the right thing, it may motivate them to continue doing the right thing without having to be told what to do and what not to do. Oral health is extremely important to our overall health so it’s never too early for kids to start learning good dental habits.
There are other factors that contribute into your child’s oral health such as…
The first concern for parents should be what goes into your child’s mouth. The foods and drinks that your children consume is just as important as any dental care can be. The amount of sugars that are found in foods and drinks specifically marketed towards children is astounding, even if they are labelled as healthy so try and incorporate fresh fruits and vegetables in your child’s diet rather than juices or corn chips.
Try foods that are natural and have no artificial colours or flavours or sweeteners as it is much healthier for you than what are found in many “healthy” snacks. Another important fact regarding nutrition is to have your child consume more dairy.
Yogurt with granola and berries for breakfast is not only a balanced meal with protein, carbohydrates, and fruit, but it has a tremendous amount of calcium which is good for strong teeth and bones. Keep a close eye on the food and drinks your children are consuming. If you limit the intake of sugar and sweeteners then your child’s overall health will benefit greatly.
Regular Dentist visits
Consistent visits to the dentist are a major benefit to your child’s oral health. Whilst brushing and flossing are great habits for oral health, there is nothing better for your teeth then regular visits to the dentist near you. Dental professionals can often detect dental problems before they occur such as; cavities and misalignments.
When dental issues are treated in early stages it makes it much less painful and expensive. If you do not take your child to the dentist every 6 months you are teaching them that oral health isn’t important. Children who don’t go to the dentist every 6 months suffer from having many cavities that need to be filled than children who have their regular appointments.
The last thing any parent wants is to see their child in pain sitting in a dentist’s chair for not teaching them the importance of oral health and ensuring regular visits to the dentist.
Dr. Nishant Vaishnav believes in combining technology and education to provide the highest quality of dentistry. He takes pride in his work and endeavours to help everyone achieve a great smile. He graduated from University of Mumbai, India in year 2000. His perseverance led him to do further studies and completed his Masters in Periodontics in 2004. He is also a member of ITI. He works in the capacity of Principal and General Dentist at Ashton Avenue Dental Practice.