Most kids want to avoid brushing their teeth before bedtime. But the fact is, today children are at a great risk to develop cavities owing to the trend of sugary delights and sweets they indulge in on a daily basis. So as a concerned parent, your best option is to encourage activities that teach your children more about oral hygiene.
Nobody finds a kid with rotten and cavity-filled teeth, cute. So if you want your child to have a pearly white set of teeth, it is essential that you teach them the importance of brushing and flossing, rinsing their mouth, and cleaning out their cheeks and tongue using a tongue cleaner from an early age. If you start teaching your children more about oral hygiene from a young age, you ensure there are lesser dental problems down the road. Sadly, the American Dental Association has estimated that about 28 per cent of children between the ages of two and 5 already suffer from tooth decay. So it only makes sense that you teach your child good oral hygiene to remove risks of tooth decay and carries.
Oral health and hygiene is an important aspect of the overall health of a person. Diseases such as oral cancers and dental caries are two of the top public oral health issues in India. Dental caries affects as many as 60-80 per cent of children in India and is one of the biggest issues that parents of today deal with. According to a systematic review done on the effectiveness of health promotion, researchers at the University Dental School of Manchester found that very few exact conclusions came about the effectiveness of oral health promotions. To reduce the risk of periodontal diseases and caries, parents must encourage good oral hygiene in children. For example, using fluoride toothpaste and brushing teeth using the right techniques is a cost-effective way to have better teeth. But none of the oral hygiene promotions pay attention to these things.
This is why, as concerned parents, it is essential that you use fun activities for teaching children more about it.
3 Ways To Teach Your Kids More About Oral Hygiene
1. Make Brushing Teeth A Fun Activity
Most children create a fuss when it’s time to brush their teeth before bed. But this situation usually arises when parents don’t teach kids the importance of brushing after each meal. A good way to encourage your child to brush more often is to show him images of teeth and how cavities build. Create your own fun slideshow that has images of kids with rotting teeth, the structure of the mouth and the formation of teeth and make them understand how food particles get stuck in the gaps and crevices formed between teeth. Then make sure you stress on the fact that eating chocolates and sweets is not a bad idea, if your child is consistent with brushing after eating these sugary delights. You’ll find several cartoon images on brushing teeth and even detailed videos on how kids should brush their teeth. Make sure your child sees these and understand the importance of the techniques involved while brushing.
Even a young two-year-old child can hold his toothbrush. So create a nice song or a jingle that you always sing while your kid brushes. Try and include the count to brush each side of the mouth in your little song, so that your kid remembers to follow the advice even as he grows up. You could even brush your teeth side by side, so that your child can enjoy imitating you.
2. Teach About Tooth Decay Activity
It is important to educate your child on tooth decay. To ensure that your child understands the importance of having healthy teeth, click a picture of them smiling. Now ask your kid to colour in a few teeth with a black or brown marker. See the results? Now tell your child that if he continues to indulge in sweets and chocolates every day and not brush, that is how they will look by next year. This simple exercise should be enough to make your kids brush more often!
Another good way to teach children about the tooth decaying effects of some drinks is to do experimentation. Ask your child to collect his teeth when he loses them. Now, take two to three beakers and soak these teeth in colas drinks, coffee, water and whatever other drink your kid enjoys. After a week, see which tooth is faring well and which one seems to have eroded. Ask your kid to brush each tooth to see if brushing can reduce decay. This way, your child will learn which drinks are not good for their teeth and how brushing can help improve oral hygiene.
3. Teach Your Kids About Flossing And Rinsing
In India, most parents don’t teach their kids to floss and rinse after meals. The result is that even though the child may brush his teeth twice a day, germs may build up. A good way to teach kids more about flossing and rinsing is being a good role model. Let your child see how healthy your teeth really are, how fresh your breath smells and how regular you are with flossing and rinsing after each meal. Now the next time you meet someone with bad or rotting teeth, makes sure you tell your child that those conditions are a result of poor oral hygiene. If your kid is old enough to browse the internet, show him a few images of people with bad teeth that are a result of poor oral hygiene.
Use these simple tricks and enjoy as your kid develops in to a young adult who gives special attention to oral hygiene!