March 23, 2023
Research has found that early oral hygiene habits can lead to a lifetime of good dental health. However, getting your child to brush and floss their teeth can be a battle. Many children view them as a chore, which can mean rushing through their routine or skipping it altogether. Here are 5 tips approved by pediatric dentists to make oral hygiene fun for your child to nurture good dental habits for life.
1. Switch to an Electric Toothbrush
An electric toothbrush can make brushing more exciting for young children. Many come with special features, like music or lights, that will grab their attention. You can also find toothbrushes with pressure sensors or timers to ensure your child is brushing long enough and not pushing too hard. Be sure to choose a toothbrush that has earned the American Dental Association’s Seal of Acceptance and look for soft bristles.
2. Change Their Flossing Routine
Around the age of 6, it’s time to introduce daily flossing into your child’s routine. However, traditional floss can be difficult for small hands to use, or they can push too hard and hurt their gums. As an alternative, consider a water flosser. A gentle stream of pressurized water effectively cleans between their teeth to keep their gums healthy.
3. Create a Reward System
Establish a reward system by using a sticker chart to track your little one’s brushing and flossing habits. After reaching their goal, they can have a special reward, like staying up late to watch a movie or a sweet sugar-free treat.
4. Make It a Family Event
Children learn by example. You can get your child excited about brushing and flossing by making it a family event. By seeing you take care of your own smile, they will learn the importance of taking time to brush and floss every day.
5. Choose the Right Dentist
Besides caring for their smile at home, your child also needs to see a dentist twice a year for a cleaning and checkup. However, the dental office can be a pretty scary place. You can ease their anxiety and ensure they are getting the care they need by choosing the right pediatric dentist.
Ask friends or family for recommendations to create a short list of potential dentists. Learn more about their qualifications and training to ensure they cater to young children. Read online reviews and testimonials to have a good understanding of the dentist’s chairside manner and the quality of care you can expect when visiting their office.
Keep dental care positive and exciting for your child. They’ll learn the value of taking care of their teeth to develop healthy habits that they’ll carry with them for a lifetime.
About Dr. Angelica R. Rohner
Dr. Rohner earned her dental degree from the University of Mississippi School of Dentistry and continued her education in pediatric dentistry. She is Board Certified in Pediatric Dentistry and is a Diplomat of the American Board of Pediatric Dentistry. Request an appointment through our website or call (205) 679-5850.
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