One of the very best things about children, and having them, is that kids just automatically seem to find and love the joy in everyday life. It’s a nice reminder of how we used to all be before the realities of adulthood weighed us down. And they can be an inspiration to find the joy in little things once more!
Joseph F. DeSantis an Associates Family Dentistry in Chadds Ford and Glen Mills, PA believes kids dental care can be fun just everything else in a child’s life, especially when the parents support the kids’ dentist in their efforts to making the experience enjoyable!
We love dental care (we mean, we are dentists after all!), but we completely understand that kids’ dental care might not be nearly as exciting to you, which can make it difficult to get your little one thrilled about their oral health as well because they will pick up on your feelings toward the subject.
So in an effort to make dental care a great experience for everybody involved, we want to help bring the same love for life we see in kids’ dental care and help you apply it to your child’s everyday life. Who knows, you might just find a little fun in it all yourself!
Participate In Kids’ Dental Care Together
Do you know how your kid seems attached to your hip all the time? Use that connection to your advantage and reinforce positive habits while you are at it!
Kids naturally mimic the actions of the people around them, especially when those people are their parents, so brushing and flossing with your kid every day is a fantastic way to spend not only valuable time with your baby, but also teach them the correct oral health techniques at the same time.
Add a bit of your own creativity as well! Create songs and/or rhymes about brushing and flossing. You know your child and what they enjoy the best, so shape the time to their interests and watch as they become the one nagging you to brush every day!
- Always brush their teeth and tongue with fluoride toothpaste
- Only a pea-sized dollop of toothpaste is needed
- Never swallow the toothpaste and always spit it out
- Make sure to brush twice a day for two minutes apiece at minimum
- When teeth begin touching, floss to prevent plaque buildup
Let Their Uniqueness Shine Through
No two children are the same and certainly, no other person knows your kid better than you, so play into that and foster your child’s unique traits to shining through! Try surprising them with a special toothbrush, which could feature their favorite cartoon or movie character or even take them on a trip to the store in order to select a toothbrush of their own!
- Let your child pick out their own, fun toothbrush
- Get them soft-bristled toothbrushes and at the appropriate size
- Create your own silly brushing or flossing songs and rhymes
Make Brushing Into A Learning Experience
By their very nature, children are hungry to learn more, whether they know it or not. The key, however, is to make sure the learning experience isn’t obvious so that it doesn’t feel like a chore to them. Games are an excellent way to disguise useful information and learning to kids without them realizing the fact you are teaching them! What a great parent life-hack!
Sneak a little kids’ dental care teaching outside the bathroom. You can have your youngster practice their reading skills, but have the reading materials feature characters or other fun things discussing brushing and flossing or other forms of dental care without your child drawing the connection that you’re doing this on purpose.
- Use a sand timer your kid can flip to practice brushing for two minutes
- Build a hangable calendar in the bathroom and give gold stars for brushing
- Find books or videos that encourage dental hygiene to teach them outside the bathroom
Give Them Special Toothpaste
A discouraging factor for many kids when it comes to brushing their teeth is the nasty taste of the toothpaste. Minty flavors, which are common for adults, are too bold for their developing taste buds, while traditional, bland kinds of toothpaste are just too gross for them. Do not let your kids’ dental care drop away and be forgotten because of the toothpaste!
Often times kids opt for toothpaste that is made for them with characters on the tube and more palatable flavors to eliminate the foul taste. However, toothpaste should never be swallowed — no matter how tasty!
- Let them use a flavor and/or character-themed toothpaste
- Always spit out the toothpaste, no matter how good it might taste
- When your child is old enough to reliably not swallow the toothpaste, be sure and use fluoride toothpaste
Create Enjoyable Family Dentist Visits
You clearly want to help your kids feel safe at the dentist and to help them understand where they are when at the dental office and why they’re there. Make sure they know there is nothing at all to fear.
Selecting a strong dentist office for your family is a great place to start, because a great dentist is one invested in your kids’ oral health as much as you! Routine check-ups every six months should be a priority, so make it a cool event! Turn the day into positive family time by taking them to the park afterward or to a movie. Anything to engage your child’s unique interests in a healthy way.
Just always remember, and we can’t stress this enough, bribing your child into a trip to the dentist is never a positive pattern to establish. Make sure and avoid making the dentist trip a transaction. Always create a positive connection subconsciously!
- Find a kids’ dentist with is extremely supportive of kids’ dental care
- Make appointments every six months and routinely visit the dentist
- Draw a subliminal connection between a trip to the dentist and a fun activity
- Never, ever bribe your child into going to the dentist and don’t use a trip to the kid’s dentist as a form of threat or punishment
At Joseph F. DeSantis and Associates Family Dentistry in Chadds Ford, PA and Glen Mills, PA, we understand what you should look for in kids’ dental care and would love the opportunity to be your family dentist. Let us help you create and maintain beautiful smiles for your family and contact us today to schedule an appointment today!