February is National Children’s Dental Health Month. These fun tips can help your child keep their smile healthy well into adulthood.
Did you know that childhood tooth decay is the most common chronic childhood health condition in the world? According to the National Center for Health Statistics, 80 percent of all children will have tooth decay before the age of 18. But the American Dental Association (ADA) thinks that this percentage can decrease if kids are educated early on about the importance of brushing, flossing, and eating healthy foods. This is why the ADA has designated February as National Children’s Dental Health Month, a health initiative that promotes the benefits of good oral health to kids, their parents, and caregivers.
While you already know that kids should brush and floss regularly and see a pediatric dentist for regular teeth cleanings and exams, there are times when it can be difficult to get young children on board with proper oral hygiene habits. Try the following child dental care tips to help encourage the children in your life to keep their smiles healthy.
Child Dental Care Tips
Teeth Brushing Tips for Kids
Dentists may recommend brushing your teeth twice a day, but it can be a chore to get children to do it just once. Here’s how to encourage your young child to brush away cavity-causing bacteria.
- Reward Your Child for Brushing. A simple reward can be a huge thing to a child. Tell them they get to pick the movie for Friday movie night if they brush their teeth before bed without being asked. Or, let them stay up a little later than usual. Simple incentives like these, plus a whole lot of praise, can go a long way.
- Make Brushing Time Story Time. Telling or reading your child a story before they brush their teeth can help them to enjoy brushing. Read a fun children’s book about the importance of toothbrushing to get your child more engaged with this twice-daily activity.
- Brushing Dance Party. It’s no secret that young kids love to wiggle and bounce around to their favorite songs. So, why not play your child’s favorite song when it’s time to brush? Try Brush DJ, a free music app that plays a song for two minutes (the length of time your child should be brushing), and watch your child’s face light up.
- Purchase a Kid-Friendly Toothbrush. There are many toothbrushes for children, but instead of just buying a child-sized toothbrush, think about getting one that blinks or plays music. Your child will look at brushing like it’s a fun activity instead of a chore. Just make sure that the toothbrush is recommended by the ADA.
Flossing Tips for Kids
If a child doesn’t want to brush their teeth, they likely don’t want to floss either. These tips can help engage young children to floss before bedtime.
- Use Kid-Friendly Flossing Products. There are a variety of flossing products for kids available including fruit-flavored floss, multi-colored floss, and fun-shaped flossing pickers.
- Floss with Them. Allow your child to watch as you floss your own teeth properly. This can encourage them to follow in your footsteps.
- Create a Flossing Chart. Design a monthly flossing and brushing chart print-out and have your child apply fun, dental-related stickers to the chart when they floss or brush their teeth. They’ll be excited to see new stickers and add them to the chart as they work on their oral hygiene goals.
Children’s Dental Health Month Activities
Activities like crossword puzzles, coloring pages, and more can all help engage young children in the wonderful world of dental health care. Print out these Children’s Dental Health Month activities from the ADA to make brushing and flossing fun. Simply click on the images below to open or download.
Children’s Dental Health: For Further Reading
- 5 Facts About Childhood Tooth Decay That May Surprise You – Infographic
- Smart Tips to Keep Your Child’s Smile Healthy for a Lifetime
- Preventing Childhood Cavities: A Quick Guide for Parents
- What is a Pediatric Dentist? And Other Questions About Pediatric Dentistry
Compassionate Children’s Dentists in Columbus Ohio
Are you ready to introduce your child to a children’s dentist? Our pediatric dental team at Capstone Dental in Clintonville understands how important it is to keep your child’s smile healthy and cavity-free. We will do all we can to ensure your child remains comfortable and happy during their dental appointments. Contact us today to schedule a cleaning or exam for your child.