Children’s Primary Teeth and How to Care for Them
5 Creative Ways to Celebrate National Children’s Dental Health Month with your child
It is increasingly important to encourage children at a young age, to take care of their teeth. Encouragement combined with happy visits to the dentist assists with promoting a lifetime of oral health. This year, in addition to community outreach and internal office efforts, Drs. Hochberg & Diora wanted to also provide parents/guardians with their top five creative ways to celebrate children’s dental health!
- Tooth Trinkets- Whether it be a fun tooth pillow, box, or dish, the time will come when your child loses his/her first tooth. It is a time to celebrate! Encourage your child by providing them with a way to “deliver” their tooth to the tooth fairy, or perhaps they might enjoy decorating their own box. Then, leave a little something from the tooth fairy for them. Two-dollar bills, half-dollar coins, notes, and fairy dust (glitter) are all creative ways to let your little one know that the fairy was really there! Think outside the box, and they will appreciate the effort.
- Brushing/Flossing Chart- It isn’t always an easy task reminding your child to brush & floss every morning and every night. However, there are ways to incentivize them until it becomes a habit. One fun way is by printing or drawing a weekly brushing/flossing chart with an AM and PM box. Place a sticker in each box daily and together, choose a suitable reward for successfully filling up the chart. Before long, it will become second nature to them. They will feel as though they have earned the treat, and you will be proud of them. It’s something we consider to be a win-win!
- Fancy Toothbrushes- Children tend to engage more when tasks are made to be fun. Throw away the boring brushes and step up your game. Let them pick! Many companies have cartoon, light-up, electric, and multi-colored toothbrushes to choose from that they are sure to enjoy. It also helps when they like the flavor of paste they are using. The American Dental Association’s (ADA) seal of approval is always an easy indicator of an approved toothpaste that has the right amount of anti-cavity fighting ingredients and fluoride. It’s your job to find the seal and their job to seal the deal!
- Brush Together- Have you ever heard the old saying, “Monkey see, monkey do?” As parents, we know this to be true in many stages of childhood. This also applies to dentistry. With that in mind, try intentionally planning a time to brush your teeth with your child. It helps to see how they are brushing and for how long. You might even have them pick a favorite toon and brush along to a song to make sure all the sugar bugs are gone. The goal is to develop a routine that they enjoy and make a few memories along the way.
- Visit the Dentist- Does your child have teeth? It’s probably time to schedule a “Happy Visit” to the dentist. By bringing them in early, they become familiar with riding in our big dental chairs, meeting the doctors, and growing accustomed to more routine visits as they grow. We make it fun by counting their teeth, providing them with a handmade comfort sock-puppet, and informing you of any concerns we may find. It’s also a great time to ask any questions you have about how to properly care for your child’s primary teeth.
Please keep in mind, if you have any unique dental tips that have worked for your little ones, we would love to hear about them! We are always looking for new ideas to share with the schools we visit during the month of February each year in celebration of Children’s Dental Health Month! Leave us a comment on Facebook.
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