Who says oral hygiene is boring and no fun? My three-year-old! Right
Tons of toddlers wail and fret at the mention of tooth brushing. While almost every toddler and parent sees caring for the teeth as a total drag, we beg to differ and we want to tell you why. Dental care need not be a time to bicker with your adorable three-year-old. There is no argument that oral hygiene for toddlers in the early years pave the way to healthy teeth and gums as your kids grow. Be that as it may, oral hygiene need not cause so much tension between you and your child. There are a number of ways you can make dental care a fun, enjoyable part of growing up. In fact, you and your toddler may even truly love it!
Exposure is key
One very good way to convince your little ones that cleaning their teeth is a great part of the day is to present oral hygiene in a consistently positive way and keep them familiar with it. Books and videos about oral hygiene for toddlers can help orient them of the benefits of caring for their teeth. Kids like or dislike an activity based on their actual experiences, so make sure your kids have a fine idea of tooth brushing and a good memory of their own experience of it.
Pick out a toothbrush together. Let your child choose one that he/she likes. Kids’ toothbrushes come in various colors and sometimes in their favorite characters. This helps encourage the use of toothbrushes. Use fluoride toothpaste to prevent cavities.
Build that Habit
Consistently allocate time and build a daily routine for your toddler’s oral hygiene. Ideally, they should brush their teeth for two minutes twice a day. There may be down days when you or your toddler would want to skip your oral hygiene habits, but remember, this should be a non-negotiable part of your day. Your toddler will ease into the routine if you stay consistent at it, too!
Timers and Favorite Songs
A timer may come in handy in your oral hygiene routine with your toddler. Children should spend two whole minutes in brushing their teeth. Use an hourglass for them to see how much time they have for brushing or play a favorite song that is two-minutes long to make it less of a drag!
Rewards can be a Good Idea
It pays to be selective of the rewards we give children for complying with good oral hygiene. Give them something that do not go against why they’re taking care of their teeth. Slices of their favorite fruit, a nice “great job” stamp, a sticker, or a gold star may be great ideas.
To Floss or Not to Floss
Daily flossing becomes an imperative part of oral hygiene for toddlers once they have grown at least two teeth that are touching. Get them oriented with it early. It is best to get that floss with a handle for easy grip.
Set a Date with your Dentist
It is never too early to introduce your toddler to regular visits with the dentist as part of your oral hygiene routine. Again, this need not be a dreadful experience for your little one. As soon as the first tooth pops out, it is a good time to schedule a visit to the dentist.
Schedule a fun activity after a dental check up that your child will look forward to at the mention of the next visit. Be creative. It may be a visit to the toy store as a reward for good behavior at the dentist’s. It may be movie time at the cinema or playtime at the park with cousins, friends, or pets. Whatever it is, link it to your toddler’s oral hygiene habits and it will add up to an enriching experience.
For more information about oral hygiene, call Des Moines Dental Group at 515-512-5339 and schedule an appointment today.