imgresIt can be a problem – getting your kids to brush their teeth. There are always excuses. I don’t like the taste of the toothpaste. i don’t like the colour of my toothbrush. I can’t be bothered.

So we have some great tips from oral health expert Dr Harold Katz…drkatz-primary

Dental health is a gateway to overall health, good or bad. By setting your child up with the foundation for good dental health care, you prevent larger problems down the line. Many parents are unaware that their child’s oral health can have a direct affect on their health and well-being, conditions such as insomnia and eating habits can be affected by the pain from cavities.

The importance of proper cleaning

Of course, poor oral health does not happen overnight. Rather an ongoing lack of proper care leads to unhealthy teeth and gums. According to Align Dentistry and Medical Centre in Australia, a combination of an unhealthy diet and inadequate brushing of teeth within the initial two years of a child’s life leads to tooth decay.

imagesInstilling good brushing habits

Helping your children brush their teeth once they can do it independently may seem like overkill. Monitoring your children’s tooth brushing entails checking in on the condition of their toothbrushes.

  1. Begin early
    The earlier you stress the importance of healthy brushing and flossing habits, the better. That way, the process becomes routine and there is less of a daily struggle to get your children to practice healthy oral care.
  1. Stay positive
    According to A+ Dentistry in San Diego, giving positive feedback and reinforcement when it is time to brush teeth helps children. A+ Dentistry suggested that an effective method for encouragement is to create a sticker chart that rewards your children for brushing and flossing twice per day.
  1. Set the example
    NHS UK suggests that you can help your child by letting them see you brush your own teeth. If your kids see you brushing and flossing thoroughly and regularly, it will set the precedent and result in your children brushing more frequently and better. These examples can be visual or oral.
  1. Make it fun
    Your kids should use dental hygiene supplies that are intended for children, which are smaller and also have other features that are important for youths. However, the fun part about this is that children’s toothbrushes, for example, are typically more colourful and are decorated with appealing themes like cartoon characters.
  1. Get creative
    Make brushing time creative just as you would if you were playing a game with your child. A+ Dentistry suggested singing a song while they brush.

Have you struggled with tooth brushing time? What strategies do you use to help your kids practice healthy oral hygiene? What works best for you?

How a healthy diet can also help your child’s teeth

Ensuring your child is eating a healthy diet and limiting the amount of sugar consumption and acidic foods to mealtimes. Be careful with fruit juice as it is high in sugars, so it is important that parents give young children water or milk. NHS UK recommends limiting fruit juice to 150mls (small glass) per day from smoothies and juices or both