By Susan Braden
Does it seem like a battle getting your children to brush their teeth? If you, like most parents, have experienced some difficulty getting your child to cooperate, then try these helpful, affordable dental hints or click on over to our Mom's Guide.
There are many affordable dental products available that are attractive to children. You can find an affordable dental toothbrush and affordable dental toothpaste with almost any character that your child loves to watch on TV. If your child has an emotional bond to Minnie Mouse, then buy her an affordable dental toothbrush shaped like Minnie, and when it is time to brush her teeth, let her know that Minnie Mouse wants to help her get her teeth clean! Pretty soon, she'll be excited to say, "I brushed my teeth!"
Try to make your child's brushing experience as fun as possible. If your children like to sing, then create a special song to sing to them for the duration of the brushing. A brushing song also gives them a time frame for how long they should be brushing. Many children want to briskly swipe the toothbrush across their teeth once and call it good – having a song or chant ready will help them to be a little more thorough.
Letting your kids know that plaque causes cavities that hurt and make it hard to eat might encourage them to be preventive with their dental care for a healthier, more affordable dental future. One 3-year-old’s dentist informed her recently that plaque is like “sugar bugs” that stick to your teeth and cause cavities, resulting in having to see the dentist more often. Sound gross? Well, this little girl is now very excited to brush her teeth twice a day. In fact, she even reminds her mother to brush her teeth sometimes because she does not want those sugar bugs sitting on her teeth! Like most children, she does not want to go to the dentist more than she has to!
Finally, teach your children the proper techniques of brushing their teeth. Think back to all of the tips your dentist gave you and share them with your child. Important tips to remember are to brush in a circular motion for at least 30 seconds, and to make sure you reach every tooth surface – every front, back, and side. For those younger, independent children who are determined to brush themselves but do not yet have the hadn-eye coordination to do a thorough job, brush their teeth for them after they have had a turn. You want to be able to clean their teeth like the dentist and teach them to do the same to ensure they are cleaning their teeth well and not just checking a task off the list.
Now it is time to take these helpful hints and conquer the task of teaching your children how to brush their teeth. Whether they fully understand now or not, your kids will be thankful to you later for your affordable dental investment that will pay off in both fewer visits to the dentist and in their long-term dental health. Once you have mastered teaching your kids to brush, you can take on the more daunting job of getting your kids to floss!