Sometimes it can be a real battle getting children to brush their teeth.
If that’s the case for you, you’re not alone – one in three Australian children aren’t brushing their teeth twice a day, with less than 70 per cent visiting a dentist before their third birthday. 1
Feeling like you’re at the end of your tether? There’s no need to start pulling teeth, we’ve got some tips and tricks to get your ‘littlies’ embracing oral hygiene in no time.
Make cleaning their teeth fun
Kids are all about fun. So turn the everyday brushing and flossing into a game!
Create a ‘teeth time’ song or dance, with music as a timer to ensure they’re brushing for the recommended minimum of 2 minutes.
Music also gives those children with low attention spans, something else to focus on.
Play a ‘squeaky clean’ test regularly. Get your child to run their finger across the tops of their teeth and listen for a ‘squeak’ sound.
You can also take the kids on an adventure to the supermarket, where they can pick out their own special toothbrush.
Brush your teeth at the same time
Getting kids to brush their teeth is one thing, but getting them to take care of their oral hygiene properly is another challenge entirely.
Some signs that they’re not brushing properly include bad breath and a white tongue – a sign that bacteria is building up.
Get your kids to brush with you, show them how to brush all of their teeth – not just the front ones (a common mistake).
And remind them to be gentle; baby teeth have a thinner coat of enamel than permanent teeth.
The Tooth Fairy can be a great motivator
The idea of the Tooth Fairy visiting and only taking the cleanest and shiniest teeth can be a great motivator for littlies.
Telling the Tooth Fairy story helps to keep a long-term goal in childrens’ minds, and reaffirms the need to brush every day.
Rewards are also a great way to not only get children regularly taking care of their teeth, but they can help instill good dental habits for life. It could be a sticker, or a ‘point’ towards a larger reward like an outing, or a new toy.
Time for a teeth check up
Regular check-ups are the only way you can know 100% that your kids are on top of their dental health. With regular preventative care, this can also help to ensure you avoid the potential for costly bills down the track.
In Australia, the rate of tooth decay in kids is increasing, with thousands of young children admitted to hospital with tooth decay every year.
At Aim Dental, our friendly staff aim to make every patient, including children, welcome and comfortable.
We have practices in Maddington, Woodvale and Merredin and we’re passionate about promoting the oral health of children in the local community.
Our Maddington practice is equipped with a special Aim4Kids room, with a TV and toys to help keep kids occupied.
Book your visit today, call ‘1300 Aim Dental’ or visit www.aimdental.com.au