Is you son or daughter afraid of the toothbrush? Do they avoid floss at all costs? Here is why preventative care is a must for children.
It can be difficult to convince your child to brush and floss their teeth.
Small children don't understand why they should brush their teeth. Toothbrushing can be a stressful and sometimes tearful experience for both parents and kids.
Tooth decay is easily preventable, and yet it remains one of the most common diseases for American kids.
The CDC says that of kids aged between 2 and 11, 42% have cavities in their baby teeth. And for 6 to 11-year-olds? 21% already have cavities in their permanent teeth.
The answer? Preventative dentistry. Read on to learn why.
Preventative Dentistry for Kids
Kids around the world are getting cavities and losing teeth at an astonishing rate. This is due to many different factors including:
While most kids enjoy snacks throughout the day, the wrong kinds of drink and food can lead to tooth decay. Allowing children to eat sugary juices, candy, and sweets can damage teeth and increase the chances of cavities.
Some of the worst sugary foods include dried fruit, orange juice, cereal bars, candy, and soda.
Drinks at Bedtime
If kids are still drinking from a sippy cup before bed, it should only be filled with water. Many kids will drink milk, chocolate milk, or juice before bed and after brushing their teeth.
That means that the sugar is hanging out on their teeth all night. If they're having a sweet drink, they need to have it before brushing their teeth.
Missed Dental Appointments
Skipping kids dental appointments can have huge consequences- even when their teeth seem fine.
Appointments get your kids used to the dentist looking inside their mouth. Preventative cleanings are hugely important. Kids will often listen when a dentist tells them to clean their teeth (even if mom and dad have been saying it for years).
How to get Kids to Brush Their Teeth
No one likes having people stick things in their mouths. Some dentists recommend holding kids down and brushing their teeth. But this is traumatic and guaranteed to make them hate it even more.
Some parents believe that baby teeth don't need to be brushed since they'll eventually fall out. But these teeth are maintaining space for permanent teeth. When they decay, they can cause gum disease which can increase the chances of permanent teeth coming in crooked.
Here are some tips to help encourage your kids to brush their teeth and build healthy habits:
- When you're playing with your kids throughout the day, keep toothbrushing in their minds. Practice brushing their dolls or stuffed animals' "teeth."
- Get an old toothbrush and tickle them with it. "Is this where I should brush?" make it a fun game.
- Let your kids brush your teeth. This can be a great distraction while you're brushing their teeth.
- Keep it short. For toddlers, a quick brush is fine. The idea is to get them used to brushing their teeth. The time can be lengthened with timers and songs as they get older.
- Do it together. Some kids want to do everything themselves, so you can brush your teeth at the same time.
Need to make a dental appointment for your kids? Get in touch today for the best preventative dentistry.