Brushing and flossing may not appear on your children's list of favorite activities, but these daily tasks help your kids avoid cavities and gum disease. A healthy smile starts with good oral hygiene and checkups at the Winchester, KY, office of your family dentists, Drs. Tena Powe and Walter Peavler.
Make oral hygiene more enjoyable
Oral hygiene seems like less of a chore if it's fun. You can increase the fun factor if you:
- Buy soft toothbrushes that feature your child's favorite characters, play music or light up.
- Award stickers for a job well done or giving your child a small reward or privilege at the end of the week.
- Let your child pick his or her favorite kind of toothpaste. (Make sure the toothpaste contains fluoride, a mineral that prevents cavities.)
- Play a two-minute song or video while your child brushes and flosses, or play an oral hygiene app on your smartphone.
Demonstrate proper brushing and flossing techniques
Show your kids how to hold the toothbrush against their teeth at a 45-degree angle. If they have dolls or stuffed animals with teeth, demonstrate how to use short, gentle strokes to brush to clean all surfaces of teeth. By age two or three, your child can probably begin brushing, with help for you. Children can usually handle brushing independently at around age 7.
If your kids find flossing with string or tape floss difficult, use water flossers instead. The flossers remove plaque and debris between teeth and don't require a high degree of manual dexterity.
Convincing your child to brush can be a challenge if he or she is tired. If the nightly brushing session is frustrating for both of you, schedule brushing for a little earlier in the evening instead. Just make sure that your child has had his or her last snack before brushing.
Help your children protect their smiles with good oral hygiene and regular dental checkups. Call your family dentists in Winchester, KY, Drs. Powe and Peavler, at (859) 744-0320. Although the office is currently only open for emergency care due to the COVID-19 pandemic, we hope to begin scheduling other appointments soon.