Improving Children’s Dental Hygiene.

*This pot is in collaboration with Accident Advice Line.
When it comes to teeth I can be a bit of stickler for
keeping on top of dental hygiene and care. Perhaps it was years of
having teeth pulled, injections galore or just simply knowing I don’t
really hold the key to great dental DNA. Or perhaps it was a
combination of these and then some more interesting experiences…

I remember as a kid we’d play this game where you’d
tuck your knees and arms into your coat and hug your knees to your
chest, whilst your sleeves billowed in the wind. On a fairly ordinary
day we were playing this game when one of my friends decided to climb
across a bench. She must have lost her footing, because within
seconds she’d landed face first onto the concrete and knocked out her
two front teeth.
I still shudder when I think about this, and it not
only makes me feel a little bit overprotective when my kids try to
play similar games, it also makes me want to ensure they take care of
those pearly whites, especially their adult ones!
There are so many horror stories in the press these
days when it comes to children’s extractions. Did you know that toddler tooth extractions have risen by a quarter in ten years?!


Top tips for kids!

Encourage them to floss

From age 7 upwards it’s important to encourage
flossing. This is so important as it will eventually become a habit,
always a good thing!

Make it a Game


We sometimes play silly games to get the brushing
over with in a fun way. Our favourite is the copy game, so I’ll
wiggle my bum and everyone has to do it, then George will do a cool
dance move and we have to copy, Molly will then stamp her feet and we
copy, and so on… Soon our teeth are sparkling! Another copy game is
copy where I brush my teeth, so I’ll say ‘Up!’ or ‘Down!’ and they
copy wherever I move my toothbrush; this is fab for getting full
coverage. Nanny Kim plays the great tooth-brushing race, and they
seem to love that a lot! There are just so many ways to make it
fun…

Sing a song


Make up a song about brushing your teeth whilst they
brush along. Even if it takes longer than 2 minutes because they’re
busy laughing at you as you sing, who cares?! They’ll have lovely
clean teeth by the end!

Watch educational videos


Youtube is there for a reason. Sit together and watch
some kid friendly clips about dental hygiene. They’ll soon be
brushing of their own accord and you’ll no longer have to sing about
cavities 😉

Visit your dentist


Building up a good relationship with your dentist is
key. I was absolutely terrified of mine, he was a bit too happy to
drill, but I think things have changed so much in the past twenty
(ish!) years. Our dentist is very calm and doesn’t rush in to ‘fix’
everything. For example, when George was 5 he had a bit of food stuck
between his teeth once and it caused a small hole to form. Our
dentist kept an eye on it, but in the end it didn’t get much worse
and eventually fell out when his adult tooth came through. He also
chats to them and they get lots of stickers when they leave; they
love going to the dentist!

Lead by example


If I don’t take care of my teeth, will they take care
of theirs?! I doubt it. I think as parents we need to be the example,
so taking care of our teeth will encourage them to take care of
theirs. 

Help them!


I’m so tired of this, ‘You’re X years old now, do it
yourself!’ attitude that parents have. I used to be just like it, but
having had my eyes opened to the world of children’s autonomy and
choice, if my child asks me to help them brush their teeth I’m going
to do it! I’m also their advocate and if they need me, I’m there…

Brush twice a day and don’t rinse!


Brushing once in the daytime and then before bed are
crucial to dental hygiene. I’m also a big believer in not rinsing
after a brush because it washes away all the bacteria killing
goodness in the toothpaste that remains after that final * spit *.

Cut back on sugary snacks


Sweets and sugary foods are a nightmare when it comes
to dental hygiene. Cut back and focus on healthier snacks such as
seeds (don’t forget to floss!) and veg sticks. Also eat fruit before
a main meal to avoid the sugar attacking those gorgeous fangs.
I think there are so many ways to encourage children
to take care of their teeth, and talking and listening are crucial to
improving dental hygiene in general. I hope I’ve helped raise a few
more ideas to encourage your children to take care of their pearly
whites 🙂
Happy brushing!
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1 Comment

  1. 23rd January 2018 / 6:57 am

    This is awesome post about children's dental hygiene! Sometimes we as adults forget how a little humor and silliness can really get the point across to our kids.

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