This February we’re celebrating National Children’s Dental Health Month at Vacendak Dentistry! We love to see young patients in the office as early dental care is a big factor that can help to establish a lifetime of good oral health. At dental appointments children learn that brushing their teeth regularly and properly is essential for a healthy mouth and beautiful smile.
Parents can help reinforce this message at home by making teeth brushing a fun activity for their children.
- Try different types of toothpaste. While berry and bubble gum are popular flavors of toothpaste, they may not be every child’s first choice. Offer your child other fun options, like chocolate, watermelon, orange, or the classic mint. More than flavors, toothpaste now also comes in color-changing pastes and an array of character packaging to match a wide variety of interests.
- Use a brushing timer or app. Kids often rush through brushing their teeth, but it’s just as important for them to brush for two minutes as it is for adults. Use a sand timer to help them keep track of time or download an timer app to occupy their minds while they are brushing.
- Incentivize with a reward. Encourage your child to brush their teeth by offering a prize at the end of a set amount of time. For example, if they brush their teeth without you having to ask for a week, they can play a special game or choose a small toy. Try to avoid sweet treats as prizes if possible.
- Play a tooth brushing game. There are many fun games you can play with your child to make teeth brushing more fun. Play “dentist” and have your child brush your teeth before they brush their own, or hide the toothbrush in the bathroom and have them look for it. The fun can start before you even touch a toothbrush with a “race you to the bathroom” challenge.
- Practice on dolls and stuffed animals. You can incorporate teeth brushing activities throughout the day as well. Purchase a toothbrush to be used solely as a toy and encourage your child to brush the teeth (or mouth area) of their favorite dolls, action figures, and stuffed animals.
At Vacendak, we take a fun approach to pediatric dentistry so that your child will feel at ease during their entire appointment. To schedule an appointment for your child (or for yourself), contact us at (757) 609-3510 or request an appointment online.