Oral hygiene is very important for kids. First, of course, it keeps their teeth and gums clean. It also prevents plague and cavities. But did you know that regular brushing and flossing not only keeps your mouth healthy, but your body healthy too? It’s true. When you brush and floss three times a day, you’re actually preventing complications including:
- Gum (periodontal) Disease
- Facial Pain
- Digestion Issues
- Heart Problems
Tips To Make Sure Your Kids Brush the Right Way
Your kids probably aren’t going to want to start brushing and flossing correctly just because you tell them it’s important. If you can convince that it’s fun, though, your kids will enjoy keeping their mouth clean, and they’ll make a habit of it, especially when they are wearing braces. Try some or all of these fun tips:
- Colorful Toothbrushes. Kids love toothbrushes that have themes: princesses, sports, pets . . . really anything that they love. Go to the store and allow them to pick any of the kids’ toothbrushes. Tell them to choose carefully, because it’s going to be a brush with special powers—it will keep their teeth clean just like magic!
- Brush and Floss Alongside. Brush with your kids—this is a great way to make sure that your kids are brushing as long as they should be. Let them know that as long as your brush is moving, THEIR brush is moving. If you’re using floss, they are too (or you’re helping them since flossing can be tricky). Be sure to use a circular motion, and check that they’re doing it too. You can even run a countdown to being done by holding out your free hand and using your fingers until you get to zero.
- Favorite Flavors. Use toothpaste that your child will love. Bubblegum, grape, mint, fruit punch, and swirls usually taste good. Let your child know that no matter how tasty the toothpaste may be, it’s meant to be spit in the sink—not swallowed in their tummy.
- A Little Music. Find a song that’s about four minutes long. It can be from a favorite movie or something silly that you downloaded online. Announce that you want to play a very special song—one that you HAVE to brush and floss with—and then brush along to the music. Your kids will be begging you to play it—and you can agree—as long as they always use their toothbrush while it’s on.
- Make a Sticker Chart. Make a chart that has three boxes for every day. Every time your child brushes his or her teeth, another sticker goes in a box. Once the entire chart is filled, let your child do something special, like taking trip to the library or a enjoying picnic in your yard.
Forming good oral habits early will encourage your kids to take good care of their teeth. If you have any questions about your kids’ oral hygiene when they are wearing an orthodontic device, call Dr. King’s office at his Pittsburgh or Wexford locations.
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