Top 5 Tips To Help Your Children Keep Their Teeth Healthy

toothbrushGetting your children to clean their teeth at night and stopping them from enjoying sweets can be an uphill battle. A recent study by the Office of National Statistics in the UK, conducted across the UK and USA, found that 14% of children ages 12 and over have at least 2 fillings and 3% have lost a tooth to tooth decay, something usually only seen in adults. Now is the time to change this statistic and employ new and FUN techniques to help your child establish a routine of brushing their teeth and maybe even enjoy the practice.

Create a Reward System

Rewards systems are a well known and loved strategy by parents to help their children to understand the importance of an everyday task, so why not add teeth cleaning to your rewards system? This is a great way to help your child understand the right and wrong aspects to brushing their teeth. For example, if your child brushes their teeth for 2 minutes twice a day, they get to watch their favorite television program, etc.

There are many kinds of rewards that can be offered, but sweets shouldn’t be one of them.

Let your Child be Involved

Letting you children be involved in the decisions affecting the health of their teeth can, and hopefully will, teach them responsibility for their future. There are many ways you can involve your children; you can let them pick their toothbrush, let them decide what toothpaste they want and let them set the times they brush their teeth.

Obviously, you will be able to override their choices, but by involving them in the conversation you will make them more likely to take an interest in their oral health. Remember, your child can also be involved whilst at the dentist. Let them speak to the dentist directly and ask questions about what they do and how they do it. This can help quash any fears of dentists at a young age and also make them feel like a grown up. If you are ready to sign your child up to a dentist then look for a child friendly dentist in Livingston, New Jersey or elsewhere in the USA.

Monitor Your Children’s Food and Drink

Ok, so maybe this is too obvious, but it is so important in the early years to teach your children to make healthy food and drink choices. It will be very difficult to completely cut out sugary sweets and ice cream from their diets, but helping your child to learn that sweets are a treat for special occasions will help their teeth in the long run. If you pack the school lunches, then it is a good idea to explain why you have fruit in there instead of chocolate and the same goes for breakfast and evening meals – it will teach your children to make the right choices in the future.

Avoid Negative Reinforcement

Negative reinforcement, or telling your child off, will hinder your chances at getting your child to clean their teeth. It will tell them that they are being naughty and that ‘telling off’ will then be associated with teeth cleaning – not what you want.

 If your child is acting out during oral cleaning, then the best method is to walk away and try again at a later point. As long as your child cleans their teeth twice a day, it doesn’t matter much what time of day they did so.

By employing these simple techniques you will not only be creating a routine that your child recognises, but you will hopefully be making the whole experience more pleasurable.

Comments (4)

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  1. Reward system is a good idea and it may work wonders. Making a fun and enjoyable way of brushing teeth could be another option for your child. Showing cartoons that teeth brushing is fun and important to keep teeth healthy would also help. There are various ways to show to kids that brushing is as important as eating and making them understand at a young age that it is necessary will help them develop a good habit.

  2. Gwen Davis says:

    Avoiding negative reinforcement and forcing children to brush their teeth is a huge no no. We simply explain the benefits of brushing their teeth to them like ‘you will have a beautiful smile if you brush your teeth’ and our kids have never had a problem with it.

  3. Isabel van Sunder says:

    This is very important information. In my years of teaching I have seen some very bad teeth as a result of no/or little brushing and too much sweets eaten on a daily basis. It is good to start children brushing at a very early age to become part of their daily routine.

  4. Taking kids to the dentist is necessary to keep their teeth healthy and promote excellent oral hygiene habits. But from a child’s point of view, a trip to the dentist can be a scary event — lying on a chair in an unfamiliar room filled with unfamiliar noises and objects, all while a stranger is poking cold, metallic, and unusual instruments in his mouth. Plus, as your child’s teeth continue to fall out and grow, he may take at least 10 trips to the dentist before starting kindergarten. To help ease future visits for your child, follow these steps so that he will feel comfortable and more relaxed.

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