Updated: 2/7/2020 Does trying to get your child to brush his or her teeth add stress to your life? Do you hate taking your child to the dentist almost as…

mom teaching child how to brush teeth

Parental Role in Children’s Dental Health

Updated: 2/7/2020

Does trying to get your child to brush his or her teeth add stress to your life? Do you hate taking your child to the dentist almost as much as they hate going? It can be tempting to put your child’s oral hygiene on the back burner because it’s just too much to deal with; however, failing to acknowledge the importance of dental care to your children can lead to severe dental problems.

The Study

A study conducted by Aquafresh has recently found that over one million children under five have at least two fillings simply because their mothers have failed to make them brush their teeth. This study also found:

  • Almost 25% of parents claim their kids only brush their teeth once a day.
  • Half of those parents admit that they find the whole tooth-brushing experience stressful.
  • One in six parents admit their child has at least three fillings.
  • Almost 50% of children under the age of 12 have been diagnosed with tooth decay.
  • One in 100 mothers have kids who suffer from gum disease (traditionally an adult disease).
  • One in 100 mothers have children with at least five fillings.

Some moms may even avoid taking their child to the dentist because of additional findings:

  • Visiting the dentist fills moms with just as much dread as their children.
  • One in seven moms feel judged by the dentist if their child is found with a cavity.
  • 25% of mothers feel embarrassed about the state of their child’s mouth.

According to dentist Tina Tanna, these results show how important children’s dental care really is. “Dental decay can lead to complications such as tooth loss so it’s key that kids learn to brush properly when they are young to prevent further issues as their adult teeth begin to grow,” Tanna added.

Fun Ways to Brush

The best way to avoid results in your children like the ones found in the study is to encourage your kids to brush their teeth. However, this task can prove to be much harder than it sounds. However, kids are more likely to brush if they enjoy it. Here are some ways to make dental care fun for your kids!

  • Let your child pick out their own toothbrush and toothpaste. A sparkly toothbrush in your child’s favorite color and a fruity toothpaste with their favorite character on the bottle may be a better motivator than you are.
  • Educating your child about dental care could help them better understand why it’s important and how it works. You can even find fun interactive sites and games online to make the learning process fun! This post contains many great resources to start you off.
  • Set up a rewards system for your child. For example, if they brush their teeth before bed, they can stay up and watch one more episode of their favorite TV show.
  • Come up with a toothbrushing song or rhyme. You can sing or chant it while they brush, or record it and play it. Eventually, your child will have it memorized and be able to sing it to themselves while they brush. Here’s a list of some of our favorite toothbrushing songs to get you started.

Have another creative idea for getting your kids to brush their teeth? Let us know in the comments section!

  1. Its a great duty for the parents to take care of childrens teeth from the day teeth has grown.They should teach & guide about twice a brushing in a day where it puts a strong & clean teeth from small age.If the practising things are made so easier then childrens will automatically stick in to that where,later there wont be any discomfort in brushing.

  2. Ensuring your child’s dental health is important from the very first appearance of their teeth. Not only is it imperative to keep their teeth clean to prevent cavities, it is also essential that you set a good example for your child, creating a regular dental care routine that provides a healthy foundation for your child’s future dental health.

    children dental health

  3. Wonderful blog I stumbled upon in facebook. So true on importance of parental involvement. I see many children in my office, mostly from health-conscious parents. However, I find the incidence of aggressive childhood caries (decay) is widespread despite all efforts by parents. I would like to stress the research by Weston Price, DDS, decades ago, who find out that children growing in indigenous tribes around the world with a primitive diet had beautiful jaws and no cavities. Processed foods not only increase cavities, but also affect the normal jaw development of youngsters. When a parent asks me “what is the best diet for dental health?” I reply: go back 10,000 years and imagine how our ancestors ate then, THAT is the best diet.

    • So true! It’s a shame processed foods are so much quicker and easier for busy families- our teeth definitely pay for our convenience. Thanks for the comment, Joseph!

  4. Parents can always make things fun for their kids in a sense they did not even know its important. I often play games with my son by exactly mimicking what I am doing and that includes brushing teeth. Parents should also speak good of their child’s dentists. They begin to trust their dentists if you speak good of them to your child. For a list of pediatric dentists in your area, I recommend dialing 888-747-0038.

Leave a Reply