Raising kids is never easy – not only do you have yourself to look after, but you also need to focus on teaching your kids good habits that will stay with them for life.
Helping your kids learn the importance of dental hygiene is just one of the many challenges that come with having children. With children’s tooth decay on the rise in Australia, it’s absolutely vital to ensure your kid’s teeth aren’t neglected as this can affect the growth of their adult teeth in the future.
From the moment you notice your child teething, you should start taking care of their gums and baby teeth to help prevent pain, infection and cavities. Using small, circular motions and kid-friendly fluoride toothpaste, TLC Dental recommends helping your kids brush their teeth for 2-minutes twice a day until they are old enough to do it themselves.
We’ve put together a quick list of our top tips to help your kids become comfortable with their teeth brushing routine and to understand the importance of dental hygiene so they can have a happy and healthy smile for life!
Pick a special brushing song
Holding your kid’s attention for 2 minutes can seem an impossible feat, especially when dental hygiene is involved! The secret here is to make tooth brushing exciting enough that your kids actually start looking forward to it.
Do your kids have a favourite song? No matter if your kids love Frozen, Spiderman or Paw Patrol, you’ll be able to find plenty of 2-minute tooth brushing timers on YouTube. Make it a tradition to play their favourite 2-minute song every time they brush their teeth and have a boogie with your kids – this may even turn dental care into the best time of the day!
All kids love games, so why not turn teeth brushing into a game?
Just grab your toothbrush, put on some toothpaste, set a timer for 2 minutes and start brushing! Whoever can brush their teeth for the full two minutes without stopping is the winner. This works especially well if you have a few kids, as not only does it hammer home the importance of brushing for 2 minutes, it also adds in an element of friendly competition, because after all – who doesn’t want to beat their big brother in a game?
Good teeth brushing = good rewards!
One of the most effective ways to encourage twice-daily brushing and flossing is to start offering small rewards in return for good dental hygiene. Rewarding good behaviour is a great way to encourage your mini-mes to keep up good habits. Rewards don’t always have to be in the form of sugary treats, they could include everything from stickers to their favourite bedtime story. Start small and once your kids have their brushing technique and schedule down pat, start offering them big rewards if they can keep it up for a whole week!
Find the perfect dentist for your kids – and make your visit special!
Did you like going to the dentist when you were a kid? Few people did! Maybe it’s the fear of pain, distrust of strangers or the loud drilling sounds, but the dentist can be pretty terrifying for the little ones. In fact, studies have shown that roughly 1 in 10 children are impacted by dental anxiety, regardless of their age and gender.
The key to helping avoid any tears or screams in the waiting room is to pick your dentist carefully. Choose a dentist with a warm environment that is welcoming to kids of all ages. Toys, a TV in the waiting room (set to a family-friendly channel, of course!) and smiling staff are just a few of the things to look out for to ensure your visit runs as smoothly as possible.
Your dentist should be able to engage with kids of all ages and help make their visit as fun as possible. From activities such as teaching them how to move up and down on the chair to learning about the different types of teeth in their mouth and giving them a dental hygiene related ‘goodie bag’ as they leave are just a few of the things a kid-friendly dentist can do.
At TLC Dental, our family-friendly clinics are perfect for children. Not only do we pride ourselves on creating a friendly and welcoming environment to set the little one’s worries at ease, but our clinical knowledge and skills will also let the whole family walk away with a healthy, happy smile.
And after your visit, why not do something fun? Whether it’s taking your kids to see a new movie, a trip to the park or even playing their favourite game together, make sure they have something exciting to look forward to after their appointment.
The best dental hygiene starts with you
At the end of the day, it’s really up to you to lead by example with your dental hygiene. Your mini-mes will always look up to you and try to echo what you do, so make sure they see you brushing and flossing your teeth every day without fail. Kids love anything fun, so why not try and make brushing look exciting?
And if you have your own dental appointment coming up, bring the kids along too – this will help them become more comfortable with the idea of going to the dentist regularly and will show them that if mum and dad can do it, they can too!
Is it time to bring the little ones along for a dental checkup? We have 5 kid-friendly clinics south of the river, including:
With all the skills, experience and technology to provide the whole family with general dentistry solutions for healthy teeth for life, TLC is reliable and qualified for your dental needs. Our talented team of dental staff also pride themselves on their ability to create a fun and engaging environment for even the most nervous of kids, so they can walk away trusting the dentist and understanding that it is not so scary after all!
Your kids may even be eligible for free dental health care at TLC Dental through Medicare if you are receiving specific Centrelink payments.
Would you like to make an appointment today? Just give us a call, we can’t wait to make your kids smile!
Want to find out if your kids are eligible for free dental health care? Find out here!