Getting kids to love the dentist can be tricky. It is simply a fear of the unknown that makes them hesitant to get up in the orthodontist's chair. But as a parent, it is your job to alleviate the worries that they have about visiting the dentist or orthodontist so that they have the cleanest, healthiest and most beautiful teeth possible.
When it comes to teaching kids how to take care of their teeth, instilling in them the importance of regular dental or orthodontic visits is just one part. There are a number of other important factors to keep in mind. Here are a few tips for teaching your kids better oral care habits:
Lead by Example: A great way to get involved and show your kids how to care for their teeth is to lead by example with tooth brushing, flossing and rinsing. Stand side-by-side with your child and brush along with them. Explain why you need to brush every tooth, tongue and gums to the best of your ability. By showing your young kids from the beginning what the best ways to clean and protect their mouth are, you will help provide them with a lifetime of healthy teeth.
Provide the tools: Once your child is old enough to brush and care for their own teeth, make sure they have the tools and supplies that they need to to make the most of their oral hygiene routine. Getting them an electric toothbrush that has a timer for how long they should brush will help them set parameters for the duration of the routine. They may still need reminders to brush and floss, but having these helpful tools takes the constant nagging of how long to brush for out of the equation for you.
Story Time: "Use tooth brushing time to tell a story," writes Everyday Health. "If you're creative, you can make up a story that incorporates mythical characters like the knight (the toothbrush) and the goblins (plaque) in an epic struggle in the dragon's cave (their mouth). They have to keep their mouth open so you can see what's going on with the characters in your story."
Use the gross factor: Kids of all ages appreciate when something is super gross. Explaining germs and plaque in a way that they can understand will make them want to brush away the bad guys, so to speak. Using plaque-revealing mouthwash or chewable tablets will help them visualize all the spots they are missing when they brush, so they can do a better job next time!
When it comes to getting kids to have the healthiest teeth possible, be sure that you have all the products, knowledge and tools you will need to get children excited about orthodontic care. Once they are old enough, be sure that you schedule a preliminary appointment with an pediatric orthodontist. For a New York-based orthodontist who specializes in pediatric care, contact KidsBracesNYC.