As with most things, teaching the value of good oral hygiene and health should start at an early age. By the age of 6 or 7, kids will be able to brush on their own and this is a fantastic opportunity for parents to not only get technical (how to brush) but also why it is important.
We all know that maintaining oral health is vital to our overall health status. Teeth are important for chewing food, for speech, and for maintaining facial structure. Lack of awareness or minimal health care can lead to tooth loss and in the long run will have effects on a person’s nutrient intake, the strength and structure of the jaw bones, and this can be further complicated by feelings of insecurity.
To prevent such a grim future, Total Body Dentistry believes that prevention is a thousand times more effective than expensive treatments and prevention can come in the form of education. Kids, often, are more prone to developing dental caries and gingivitis. In some cases, the condition would only get worse with age.
Before getting into the nitty-gritty of oral health care though, keep in mind that not all kids are similar. Some kids may find brushing and flossing enjoyable while others will find it ghastly. Knowing a child’s strength and limitations is the key. Also, unless, you already trust your child to be handy with the toothbrush – it is best to take the time and show your child the proper way to brush.
Creative approaches to teaching are particularly helpful. You can buy books on dental or general health care that are geared towards kids. Likewise, you can go online and search for any interactive sites on dental health care. Take a lesson from shows such as Sesame Street and Dora the Explorer, those programs are successful in reaching out to kids because they use fun and games to raise kids’ interest.
Another tip is to introduce your kids early to dentists. Early visits to the dentists and adding elements of fun to the visit (think of the dental chair as a magical ride) will make it enjoyable.
Finally, ease your kids into the daily habit of brushing and flossing by getting them gum flavoured toothpastes and toothbrushes with soft bristles. Soft bristled toothbrushes are pleasant and they minimize the risks of damaging a child’s soft and sensitive gums.