Turn Your Child Into the Best Brusher & Avoid Cavities

Sacramento Kids Dentist

Your child’s oral health is very important. It sets the stage for their smile for the rest of their lives. Introducing your kids to good oral health habits at a young age ensures they will carry those habits with them as they get older. 

Consider these facts:

  • A Centers for Disease Control and Prevention report from 2007 shows the number of cavities in children ages 2 to 5 have increased from a decade ago. 
  • In a 2004 study, tooth decay was found to be the most common chronic childhood disease, 5 times as common as asthma.
  • A 2000 report found that dental-related illnesses result in a loss of more than 51 million school hours each year.

sacramento-dentist_oral-hygiene-for-kids

Do not fret! You can make oral care fun and easy for your kiddos. 

  • Brush and floss your teeth together to set a good example. (Yes, parents, you need to floss, too)
  • Sing a song or nursery rhyme for 2 minutes to help the process seem to go by faster for your kids.
  • Pick a fun toothbrush with your kids’ favorite character on it.
  • Pick a toothpaste that is flavorful to the child. Ask your dentist for samples.
Sacramento Kids Dentist

This cool toothbrush holder for kids can hold up to 4 toothbrushes. $19.99 at ModCloth.com

Other tips for success: 

1.    Brush teeth twice a day and floss once a day
2.   Change your child’s toothbrush every 3 months to ensure they always brush their best
3.   Have your child’s teeth checked by a dentist twice a year, starting at age 1.
4.   Limit sugary snacks and drinks like juice, sports drinks and soda to help prevent  cavities.

Following these simple guidelines is a great place to start to ensure that your child will lead a life with less cavities and create the habits of a well-oiled brusher and flosser. Good luck, and happy flossing! 

Get Them to Brush: A Guide For Parents

Get Your Kids to Brush

Kids of all ages teens and toddlers (even the occasional adult child) need to be taught and reminded about dental health and its importance. The following tips can be used to help parents get a head start on dental heath for their family. With only 50% of the US population seeing a dentist regularly, every bit can help.

Some kids are better than others and take to brushing and flossing immediately, while some kids see taking care of their teeth as another fear chore. Help the kids  in your life see the importance of dental health with these creative tips and tricks.

Teach your kids about their teeth

For kids who don’t like to brush, simply handing them a toothbrush and tube of toothpaste is not going to cut it, you must do more. You can do more by teaching them all about their teeth. Help kids see the different types of teeth that are in their mouths. By explaining that each tooth has different shape, different job, and therefore a different location. There are four types of teeth: incisors, cuspids, bicuspids, and molars. Use the following information to help explain the teeth and their jobs:

  1. Incisors: Located in the front of the mouth (four up top and four on the bottom), the eight incisors have chisel-shaped crowns that cut food.
  2. Cuspids: Located next to each incisor, the four cuspids have pointed edges to tear food.
  3. Bicuspids: Loacted next to the cuspids, these four pairs of teeth crush and tear food.
  4. Molars: The 12 molars come in sets of three at the back of the mouth. The wide surfaces of these teeth grind food.

Read books about dental health

In addition to teach your kids about the teeth and their jobs you should read with your kids. It is easier for young kids to grasp dental health if they see the it illustrated in a book. From the time your children are infants, you should be incorporating books about oral hygiene, teeth brushing, and flossing. There are even books about visiting the dentist. Incorporate these in to their regular reading. This also can decrease your child’s anxiety and fear about the dentist. Ask your librarian to help you located dentist books. They might even be able to order some for you!

The American Dental Association (ADA) is a good resource for parents to find books that help explain dental health to your kids. Read “Visit the Dentist with Marty” at ADA.org and let your kids play a game that teaches kids about healthy snacks called, “Let’s Raid The Kitchen!” on the hygienist’s portion of the ADA website.

Do an experiment

There are several websites available to parents that give step-by-step instructions and provide guided experiments that can make learning about dental health and oral hygiene more fun. Check out http://www.HealthyTeeth.org for information created by dentists for your younger children. Content ranges from sugar bugs to bad breath and covers everything in between.

Good luck, parents!! May the force be with you!