MANILA, Philippines – Potty training, how to tie shoelaces, good table manners, and overall hygiene practices– these are some of the many things a parent teaches children.
Teaching your kids the right habits can be difficult but it doesn’t mean it can’t also be fun.
Proper oral care is a big factor and is something that needs to be taught early on in your child’s life. 60% to 90% of schoolchildren, according to the World Health Organization, are affected by cavities.
While it’s important to monitor the food that children eat, with the proper dental care, they can still enjoy the occasional slice of birthday cake, ice cream sundae, or piece of chocolate.
Here are some tips and tricks to get your children to love proper dental hygiene.
1) Come up with a brushing song
BRUSH BRUSH BRUSH. Keep things fun and sing a brushing song. All graphics by Nico Villarete
Brushing and any hygiene routine can feel like a chore. Make brushing fun by singing a song, making up your own little brushing song for your child, like the Brush, Brush Brushsong by Colgate.
Two minutes is the recommended brushing time and may seem long for a child’s short attention span. But by singing or playing their favorite song in the background, an otherwise boring activity can turn into something fun.
2) Lead by example
BE A ROLE MODEL. Your kids will follow your lead.
Children are like sponges and as their parents and primary influencers, you are easily mimicked by your child. Make sure that when you brush your teeth, you also practice the proper brushing techniques and make it seem like it is something you enjoy doing. Have a routine of brushing your teeth together and most probably your child will follow your example until they learn to do it on their own.
PLAY PRETEND. Children love story telling so tell your own or have them make one up.
If singing or songs don’t work, try playing pretend or coming up with a creative story that will keep them engaged. Pretend to be jungle animals, for example, a lion opening its mouth wide, and make sounds so that they are entertained. A simple and creative story, something along the lines of having to brush the sugar bugs away from your teeth because they make homes and cause cavities, could also be further incentive for them to brush.
4) Teach them the importance of flossing
BRUSHING IS NOT ENOUGH. Teach your kids the importance of flossing.
Since brushing alone is not enough to remove all the plaque build up and food particles in-between teeth, you need to instill the importance of daily flossing.If you train your child to begin flossing at the age of 4 Begin flossing at the age of 4 and with proper care and dedication, your child should be able to floss unsupervised at the age of 8.
5) Take them to regular dental check ups
VISIT THE DENTIST. Regular professional check ups are also recommended to maintain your child's oral health.
No one likes going to the dentist, even adults, but getting regular dental check ups is crucial to the proper maintenance of oral health. A checkup every 6 months is a good way to make sure that your child’s teeth are in good shape. Receiving professional cleaning can help further prevent problems like cavities and tooth decay from forming later on. Your pediatric dentist should also recommend the number of times your child should come in for a cleaning based on their personal oral health.
Some pediatric dental clinics decorate their offices or have distractions like stuffed toys hanging from the ceilings and TV screens playing cartoons to keep children entertained while they are on the dentist chair.
6) Monitor their diet and sugar intake
EVERYTHING IN MODERATION. Be mindful of the food your child eats.
While you don’t want to deprive your child from enjoying the food they eat, it is also good to monitor their starchy and sugary food intake, because they can turn into harmful acids, also known as sugar acids. Sugar acids are the number one culprits of cavities because they attack the tooth enamel that protects your teeth from erosion and forming cavities.
7) Use a toothpaste that contains Sugar Acid Neutralizer™
SUGAR ACIDS. Use a toothpaste with Sugar Acid Neutralizers.
Monitoring the food they eat is one way to prevent cavities, but it is impossible to completely eliminate or restrict your child from enjoying sugary food. To help address this, use a toothpaste that contains Sugar Acid Neutralizer™(SAN) – a breakthrough technology in cavity protection. SANs create a healthy environment in your mouth, by fighting sugar acids before they can harm your teeth. They also help fluoride work even better in protecting your teeth from cavities.
Keep these tips and tricks in mind, so your child not only practices proper dental hygiene, but also looks forward to brushing time. - Rappler.com
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