Teaching Kids About Oral Hygiene

Teeth cleaning can be a bit of a battle with little ones but oral hygiene is really important and it’s a good idea to get your kids used to a daily teeth cleaning routine as early as possible.

The beginning

When your children are still very little, you will need to clean their teeth for them. Use a brush with soft bristles to prevent damage to their gums and try to brush their teeth twice a day. As they grow up, teach them how to hold their brush, put the toothpaste on and clean their teeth. Set a good example by cleaning your teeth in front of them and talking to them about why it is important to clean their teeth. Try to brush your teeth at the same time so your child can copy you and learn how to brush their teeth.

Make cleaning teeth fun

You can make teeth cleaning more fun by playing games related to teeth cleaning, buying toothpaste and toothbrushes which feature kids’ favourite characters and making teeth cleaning a family activity. Many leading brands now have products specially geared towards kids and you can find products which are brightly coloured, easy to use and decorated with popular film and cartoon characters. You can also encourage your kids to clean their teeth by rewarding good behaviour and commenting on how shiny and sparkly their teeth look when they have brushed them.

In recent years, the range of child-friendly products has increased significantly and children respond very positively to seeing their favourite super-heroes or cartoon characters on their toothbrush. Use the characters as a good example. For instance, encourage your child to clean their teeth because that’s what Superman does or tell them they will have beautiful white teeth like Cinderella if they brush their teeth twice a day.

Understanding why oral hygiene is important

As your kids get older you can start to explain why oral hygiene is important and talk to them about what happens when they clean their teeth. Talk to them about plaque and bacteria and explain why it is important for them to brush their teeth twice a day in the morning and evening.

You can also start to talk to them about healthy eating and the impact of eating certain foods on the teeth. For example, eating too many sweets and cakes will increase the risk of decay and gum disease. There are lots of books that explain the importance of oral hygiene at the same time as telling a fun, enjoyable story, which will captivate children and encourage them to adopt good habits.

Keep your eyes open

It is very common for children to tell tales about cleaning their teeth so try to make sure that you keep an eye on them when they clean their teeth. Most kids will go through a phase of whizzing their brush around their teeth as quickly as possible and claiming they have cleaned their teeth so try to encourage them to clean their teeth thoroughly by timing them, making games and rewarding them.

About the Author:
Richard is a copywriter who has created content for a range of websites, including those to do with cosmetic dentistry, green living and beauty, amongst many others.

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