Our oral health is incredibly important from the day our first tooth breaks through the gums. However, many kids struggle to get in the habit of taking care of their teeth. In fact, the National Children’s Oral Health Foundation reports that over 40 percent of children have their first cavity by the time they begin kindergarten. Promoting good dental hygiene habits early on in your child’s life will help them avoid many health issues, including pediatric tooth decay. With that in mind, here are six ways you can get your child to brush their teeth regularly. If you need a pediatric dentist in Wilmington, call Gentle Touch Smiles to schedule an appointment today!

-Make it a Family Activity

Kids love to do things that make them feel grown up. This makes them want to be involved in what their parents do on a daily basis when it’s possible. You can make brushing and flossing a bit more fun for them by making it an activity the family does together. Not only does this show them how to properly take care of their teeth as you lead by example, it’s a great way to get a bit more quality time with the family.

-Let Them Choose Their Toothbrush

Young kids often don’t get to make a lot of choices about their lives, so you can let them make a simple and small one to give them a sense of self-sufficiency. Take them to the store and let them pick out their own ADA-approved toothbrush. Whether it’s their favorite color or it has a picture of their favorite cartoon character on it, this can give them a sense of ownership over their dental health.

-Flavored Toothpaste

Some kids don’t like brushing their teeth because they don’t like the mint flavor most adult toothpaste comes in. You can help them find a kid-friendly, ADA-approved toothpaste that comes in a flavor they like a bit more. Crest and Colgate both offer different flavor options such as bubblegum and strawberry. Just make sure they aren’t eating it when they’re supposed to brush.

-Positive Reinforcement

You can turn dental hygiene into a game to help your child get invested in sticking with the habit. Give them stickers to put on a sheet when they complete their twice-daily brushing and flossing. This gives them a visual sense of their accomplishment which will help them keep at it.

-Make it Fun

Try making up a fun song or rhyme to do while your kids are brushing and flossing. This takes what can be a boring process and makes it more entertaining for them. There are also some books and cartoons that help teach how important dental hygiene is.

-Choose the Right Dentist

Find a pediatric dentist office that fits with your child’s sensibilities. Check out reviews from the area, ask fellow parents, and see what they do to make going to the dentist less scary and more fun for kids. This can be everything from a playroom to a treasure chest of toys they get to pick from after treatment.

At Gentle Touch Smiles, we pride ourselves on providing a caring and nurturing experience for children to foster a great foundation of oral health. Call our office in Wilmington today to schedule an appointment or learn more about our practice.