Teaching your children good dental hygiene practices

Parents can give their children a great start toward a lifetime of dental healthy by teaching them good oral care habits early. Instilling good habit can be an uphill battle at times, but teaching the importance of having healthy, clean teeth and making dental care fun can make the process easier.

Make Brushing Fun!

Many children are averse to brushing their teeth because it is one of the last things they do before bedtime. Prolonging brushing means staying up a few precious minutes more. Instead, have the kids brush immediately after dinner, before they can watch television or play with friends.

Dentists for children recommend brushing for at least two to three minutes, the same length of time as many songs. Put on your child’s favorite song and tell him to keep brushing until the music stops.

Pick up a few disclosing pills from your Arlington dentist or pharmacy. The little red pills, when chewed, reveal all the plaque and bacteria left in the mouth. Have a family contest to see who can make their teeth the cleanest, using the pills to declare a winner.

Conduct an Eggsperiment

Show your child a raw, whole egg. Explain that the hard shell protects the soft inside and keeps it safe, clean and healthy. Next, discuss how the teeth are like eggs– the exterior hard enamel protects the interior soft dentin the same way the egg shell protects the yolk.

To show your child what happens when the teeth are not brushed, place the egg in a jar of vinegar. In a few days, the hard outer shell turns soft before being eaten away by the vinegar. Explain that without good dental hygiene, acid builds up on the teeth and has a similar, albeit slower, effect.