Teaching your children good dental hygiene and oral care from a young age is important to help prevent tooth decay. Tooth decay in children is on the rise in Australia, with over 30 per cent of children aged 5-6 already experiencing decay in their primary teeth.
A national report card released by the Australian Dental Association went on to find just under 25% of children aged 6-14 have tooth decay in their permanent teeth and that 10% were living untreated.
Now, we all know how good kids are at dodging the essential things that keep them in good health — eating their veggies, going to bed early and dental hygiene — which can be a challenge for most parents.
Good oral hygiene is so important for children to help prevent future dental issues, such as cavities, infection, pain and overcrowding due to tooth loss. To help you establish good oral hygiene and care with your child, you’re going to need a great dental routine.
Here’s 6 simple ways to make dental hygiene fun for your kids:
Lead by example
Good dental hygiene and oral habits start from you. If they see you religiously brushing and flossing each day, it’ll make them want to follow suit. Make sure they watch you brush and floss your teeth and make it look like you’re having a great time. Kids love to mimic everything you do, and if successful, you’ll soon see them pretend-brushing in no time at all!
Take your kids to your dental check-ups
Show your kids that you too, have to attend regular dental check-ups and practice good oral care. It demonstrates to your kids that this is all a part of everyday normal life. This gives them a chance to be introduced to the family dentist and get familiar with the environment, so next time it isn’t as strange or foreign. A good dentist will make your kids laugh and keep them entertained, making the whole experience a fun and welcoming one.
Find a fun toothbrush song
Thanks to the internet, there’s a song and a dance for everything, I’m sure we’ve all heard of Baby Shark! These days, you can jump onto Google, search up ‘toothbrush song and dance’ and you’ll find a whole heap of sing alongs to use with your child.
There may even be dancing videos on Youtube you can mimic or watch together if you don’t feel like making up your own moves. This helps turn dental care into a fun and positive experience.
Make a game of it
One of the easiest ways to teach your child how to brush their teeth is by making a game of it. Whether it’s assisting them to brush their doll or stuffed animal’s teeth while you brush theirs or letting them brush yours until each tooth has been successfully cleaned. The more fun they are having brushing teeth, the more positive the experience, the more they will look forward to it.
Offer a reward
It’s okay to offer them a small reward for looking after their teeth well. We suggest staying away from sugary treats, but rather offering a fancy sticker, or a bedtime story, or play some sort of mini-game like a treasure hunt. You know what your kids like better than anyone, so use this opportunity to leverage the power of what they love when it comes to dental-care time.
Find an amazing family-friendly dentist
Who remembers what it was like going to a non-friendly dentist as a child? It was a nightmare. Find a child-friendly dentist with friendly, welcoming staff who can work well with children of all ages. The environment should have a welcoming vibe with toys, a well-lit studio, playful character posters or mascots, and a dentist who has the ability to entertain and engage with your kids at their level.
At Tandara Dental Centre, we are highly passionate about helping your child experience optimal oral health and achieve a bright, healthy smile. We believe one of the first steps to ensuring your child enjoys the best oral health possible is by helping them feel comfortable with seeing the dentist. For a fun, positive experience for you and the family, contact Tandara Dental Centre today.