You are here
How to Encourage Your Children to Brush and Floss
If you want some insight into your children’s critical thinking skills, listen to their excuses for getting out of brushing their teeth. Children can come up with clever excuses ranging from fact-based reasoning like “my teeth are still clean; I haven’t had candy today,” to more whimsical references to tooth fairies stealing their toothbrushes.
However, getting them to put the toothbrush in their mouth is only half the battle. Making them brush their teeth correctly requires even more patience and creativity on your part as tooth-brushing buddies.
How to Teach Brushing and Flossing
Children like to mimic adults, so letting them watch you practice proper dental hygiene is an effective strategy. As an alternative, you can brush side by side while making funny faces at each other as you gently correct their brushing and flossing techniques.
Toothbrushes with pulse or musical timers will help children understand how long they need to keep on brushing to get their mouths clean. Singing the birthday song in their heads as they brush also works as a timer. Make sure to provide toothbrushes with soft bristles that won’t scrub their tender gums. Children are more likely to brush and floss if the taste of the toothpaste agrees with them, but stay away from sugar-laden products.
Invoking the name of your child’s favorite dentist is another way to nudge children into using their toothbrushes correctly. Kids often look up to professionals outside their family circle like dentists, doctors and teachers.
Importance of Healthy Teeth
Reports from the Centers for Disease Control indicate that 41% of children show signs of decay in their baby teeth. Despite widespread efforts to improve dental health such as water fluoridation and better access to dental care, tooth decay remains one of the most common childhood diseases today.
Proper dental care in the early years will affect the condition of a child’s mouth as permanent teeth grow in to replace baby teeth. Early dental care can determine the extent of orthodontia that kids will need later on. Dental health can also affect overall health, including risk factors for heart disease and strokes.
Children won’t relate to talk of bum hearts and spiking blood pressure, so it’s okay to focus on the effect tooth decay may have on their chances of someday playing the lead in “Annie” or “The Lion King.” If your older kids have fallen into the fad of vampire shows and novels, try referring them to images of oral and periodontal diseases.
The Role of the Family Dentist
Families with young children should have a reliable dentist in their list of emergency contacts because active, growing children tend to have dental emergencies at inconvenient times. At Northstar Dental Group, with offices in Appleton and Sheboygan, our staff strives to deliver quality care in a patient-centered setting. Education is part of the dental care plan for all patients. Contact us today to learn more
Dr. Pete and Staff (Especially Rhonda)
I just wanted to thank you all for taking such good care of Corey. You did such a good job of taking something potentially traumatic to a lad and making it not so terrible. He actually said he can’t wait to come back to you guys. You're always there when I need you and I really appreciate it. Thank you!
- Amy & Corey
“Doctor Pete and his crew are the best! 15 years plus of awesome service and the best dental work money can buy. A very appreciative client and a good friend, forever! You guys totally ROCK!
P. Johnson of Open Road Harley-Davidson.”
"I was deathly afraid of the dentist and my teeth were horrible. I was also very tired and unhealthy with infection in my gums. After just one visit, my smile is much better and I feel way healthier and have more energy." Dan C. Appleton WI.
Just a quick note to let you know that the "Silent Night" is the BEST $$$ I ever spent!! I sleep so much better and my husband doesn't wear his ear plugs any more! Thank you!