Throughout February, we are celebrating National Children’s Dental Health Month (NCDHM), established by American Dental Association (ADA) and the ADA Foundation. The celebration allows local communities, parents, and health care professionals to place emphasis on children’s oral health and best practices. Often times, children, especially, need encouragement and reminding when it comes to cleaning and taking care of their teeth. Parents and caregivers can show kids fun and interactive ways that brushing for two minutes two times a day (2min2x) maintains best practices and can help kids fall in love with brushing.
The American Dental Association shared 7 Ways to Make Brushing Fun for Kids:
- Have 4 minutes of fun.
- Start a routine and stick to it.
- Reward good brushing behavior.
- Watch and read stories about characters who brush their teeth.
- Make up a story about brushing away the bad guys that cause cavities.
- Go shopping and let your child pick out their toothbrush and toothpaste.
- Make brushing a family affair.
As important as it is to maintain dental hygiene as a fun activity for kids, so are the tools and techniques used to getting the job done. The ADA recommends replacing a toothbrush every 3-4 months for good oral health practices. It is equally as important that a child has a toothbrush that is the appropriate size. If a toothbrush is too big or too small, food and candy can be left behind. As a result, over time a cavity could occur for that child. Not only is a good toothbrush important, but so is the type of toothpaste your child uses. And be sure the toothpaste is ADA-accepted. For a list of all products that are ADA-accepted, please click here.
Establishing best dental hygiene practices in your home determines your child’s long term dental health. A healthy smile reassures that a child will be able to focus on what it truly means to be kid and not have to worry about a toothache!