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Three Tips for Teaching Children Oral Hygiene

Children practicing proper oral hygiene

Teaching your kids the importance of good oral hygiene can set them up for a life free of dental problems. However, it can be difficult to find the best method to teach them. Try these three simple techniques for teaching children oral hygiene.

Be an Example

Young children pay attention; they mimic everything their parents do, and that includes brushing their teeth. Let them watch you brush and floss your teeth and have them brush their teeth at the same time. Narrate the process and describe your technique. Make sure you point out to:

  • Brush the front, back, and top of teeth
  • Brush the tongue and gum line
  • Reach all the way to the back molars
  • Spit out the toothpaste when you’re finished

Make it Fun

Kids love to have fun! Let your child pick out a toothbrush with a cute character on it or a yummy ADA-approved fluoride toothpaste. Then, sing a catchy song while brushing to ensure they brush for the required two minutes. You can even use a timer and create a toothbrushing dance.

It is also a great idea to encourage them to brush their toys’ teeth and play other games. Colgate has a great set of games to explore. Our favorite activity for teaching children oral hygiene involves Play-Doh, a Duplo Lego block, and yarn. Place Play-Doh in the spaces between the blocks, then have your kid use the yarn to practice removing the Play-Doh to simulate how to floss.

Reward Proper Care

Sometimes simply doing the right thing is not always the most effective motivator. Some kids may respond better to receiving rewards. Small prizes for cavity-free dentist visits or extra television time for flossing are extremely effective rewards. But of course, the reward system you choose should depend on what works for your child.

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About the Author: Robert T. Ogden, D.D.S.

Dr. Robert T. Ogden D.D.S. is an independent orthodontist serving Central Florida since 1994, and is proud to be the affordable option for local families who want straight teeth that lead to perfect smiles, all backed by a kind and friendly staff that instantly makes you feel at home. We take the time to explain all of your options, from In-Ovation C clear braces or SPEED System metal braces to clear aligners like Invisalign™. Plus, our state-of-the-art offices are designed to make your visit as fast and comfortable as possible. Schedule your free consultation today!

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