It can be difficult to explain to a child the significance of brushing their teeth, especially since bacteria and gingivitis are words beyond their full comprehension. Finding a dentist for your child is important, just as important as home dental care.
Before we begin with the fun stuff, the first thing we recommend you rule out when your child is brushing their teeth is sensitivity. Some children are sensitive to touch, which makes teeth brushing unpleasant, especially those with autism or attention disorders. If you believe your child’s resistance to brushing is linked to a sensitive mouth, ask your dentist for some coping mechanisms.
Now, after you have ruled out sensitivity, there are a few things you can do, as the parent, to make teeth brushing interesting and fun for your child. Remember that you don’t want to give your child the choice of not brushing their teeth, because they may take you up on it. Instead, give them a choice for the products they use. Start with getting your child a cool toothbrush, have them pick it in the grocery store. If they have the option of picking what they want to brush it’ll give them control over their own hygiene.
Next, set up a reward system. Not necessarily monetary, because brushing twice a day forever times even twenty-five cents will add up! But, maybe accompany brushing their teeth with a long-term prize. For instance, if they brush their teeth all week as needed on Sunday they can have as much ice cream as they want for dessert.
Another creative way to get your child to brush will be similar to getting them to eat their vegetables, so make a story or adventure out of it. A good idea is to incorporate real life scenarios into your stories. A great example is telling your child the bad things they are conquering when they brush – plaque, cavities, etc.
In addition, remember to lead by example. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has stated that tooth decay is one of the most common chronic conditions in kids, affecting about 20 percent of those between the ages of five and eleven. When you don’t brush your teeth, and your child sees it, then they will think that is okay. So, not brushing at an early age can cause your child discomfort, as well as problems with eating and speaking, well into the eruption of their adult teeth. Avoid setting this pattern by being a great parent and leading by example.
Mom’s and dad’s, fingers crossed, just like most difficult phases of your child’s life, this one will soon pass. On a day to day basis you will help your child set up healthy daily routines. If you are looking for a pediatric dentist in Las Colinas or Irving, Texas, then look no further and contact us at Cosmetic & Family Dentistry. We are here for all your dental needs, and for all your concerns or questions.