With over 30 per cent of children aged 5-6 already experiencing tooth decay in Australia, it’s never been a better time to start teaching your kids good dental habits.
Research conducted by the Australian Dental Association and published in February 2018 found that just under 25% of children aged 6-14 have tooth decay in their permanent teeth and that 10% were living untreated. This is why teaching them how to care for their teeth at a young age is important to help prevent tooth decay.
But we all know how challenging it can be to get your kids to do the essential things that keep them healthy — going to bed early, eating their veggies and practicing good oral care.
Good oral health and hygiene are so important for children at a young age because it can help prevent future dental issues. This can include cavities, gum disease, infection and overcrowding due to tooth loss.
To help establish good dental habits with your kids, you’re going to need a fun and exciting dental routine.
Here’s 6 simple ways to make dental hygiene fun for your kids:
1. Be a role model
Good dental habits and oral care starts with you. If your child sees you religiously brushing and flossing each day, it’ll make them want to follow. As they are watching you brush and floss, make it look like you’re having a great time.
Kids love to mimic everything you do, so if they think you’re having a fun time, you’ll soon see them doing the same.
2. Take your kids to your dental check-ups
Showing your kids that you also have to attend regular dental check-ups and practice good oral care will make them more accepting when it’s their team.
It demonstrates to your kids that it’s apart of everyday normal life. It also gives them a chance to be introduced to the family dentist and get familiar with the environment, so next time it’s not so strange or foreign.
A good dentist will make your kids laugh and feel welcomed, creating a fun and exciting experience.
3. Turn it into a song!
It’s amazing how many songs and dances you can find on the internet these days, Baby Shark anyone? Simply open up Google and search for ‘toothbrush song and dance’ and you’ll find a whole heap of songs to use.
There are even dancing videos on YouTube you can both watch together and mimic their dance if you don’t feel like making up your own moves. This helps turn dental hygiene in a fun and positive experience.
4. Make a game of it
One of the easiest ways to teach your kids good dental hygiene is by turning it into a game. Try getting them to brush their doll or stuffed animals teeth while your brush theirs, or let them brush yours until every tooth has been successfully cleaned.
The more fun they have during this time the more positive the experience, the more they will look forward to it.
5. Offer a reward
It’s okay to offer your kids a small reward for looking after their teeth. That being said, we suggest staying away from sweets, instead offer them a fancy sticker, or an additional bedtime story, or time at the park.
You know what your kids like better than anyone, use this opportunity to leverage what they like when it comes to dental-care time.
6. Find an engaging family-friendly dentist
It’s very important to find a dentist who’s going to make your kids feel welcomed and entertained throughout their time at the dental centre. If you can remember what it was like going to a non-friendly dentist as a child, well it was a nightmare.
The environment should be inviting, with toys, a well-lit centre, playful character posts or soft toys, cartoons on the TV, and a dentist who has the ability to engage with your kids at their level.
At Alpha Dental, we are highly passionate about helping your child achieve and maintain optimal oral care and hygiene for a healthy bright smile. We believe the first step to ensuring your child receives the best oral health possible is by making sure they feel comfortable when visiting the dentist. Make their next dentist visit a fun, positive and exciting experience with Alpha Dental today.