I know you’ll be taking lots of cute pictures this summer, and you’re going to want your kids’ teeth looking healthy and bright. Just in time, here are some great tips from pediatric dental expert, Dr.Sakai, who leads the team at the super fun offices of Just for Kids Dentistry.
1. Start early. Before you ever buy baby’s first toothbrush, you can wipe new baby teeth clean with a soft cloth. Toddlers who are already used to having their teeth cleaned are often far more receptive to the idea of brushing their teeth later on.
2. Model the habits you want to see. You are your child’s first teacher and role model. Let them see you brush and floss daily, or better yet, make brushing and flossing a family affair
3. Don’t underestimate the power of fun. Sometimes, all it takes is a toothbrush with a favorite character or one that lights up and plays music to encourage a child to brush. Singing special songs can also make the ritual a lot more fun, particularly if you’re willing to make a total fool of yourself.
4. Choose the right toothpaste. Whether you’re for or against fluoride, looking for the most natural product or just the cheapest, there’s one thing you have to consider: taste. A child who enjoys the flavor of his or her toothpaste is more likely to enjoy brushing.
5. Buy the colored, hand-held flossers. Santa Claus left these in Christmas stockings at our house, and they have been a huge hit! My kids love flossing with them, but my rule is that they have to brush first, so now they’re always eager to brush their teeth.
6. Create a rewards chart. Motivate your kids to brush their teeth with reward charts where they can keep track of their daily brushing and earn rewards for consistently completing the task.
7. Rely on educational tools. Often, children pay more attention to a message when they don’t hear it from their parents. You may have better luck getting those teeth brushed if you read books about dental hygiene or pop in a video.
Disclosure: If you’re looking for a dental provider for your children, I hope you’ll check out Just for Kids Dentistry, and please thank Dr.Sakai for his support of Sounds Fun Mom!