Getting your child involved in his or her own dental health could be a challenge initially. You might struggle with getting them to understand the importance of brushing their teeth or even trying to make them care. Beginning your child’s dental health education early can help get them involved and may even make it more exciting and fun to your child.
Creating a Picture
One way your child could learn about his or her mouth is by creating a mouth self-portrait. You simply need a mirror, paper, crayons and a well-lit area. Your child can open his or her mouth and look in the mirror, while you discuss what you both see. You can talk about the gums, teeth, tongue, and bottom and roof of the mouth. Then we recommend that you challenge your son or daughter to draw and label each of those parts. Doing so can help them be familiar with these parts for their entire life.
To help teach your child the proper brushing techniques, you can use a hand-drawn sketch of a tooth on dark colored paper. After the sketch is completed, hand your son or daughter a toothbrush and some white paint, so they can practice their own “brushing” techniques and cover the entire tooth. When they are done with the paper, you can guide them over to the sink and, with a new toothbrush, you may supervise your child as they brush their teeth.
Teaching Healthy Foods
Another idea would be to take your son or daughter to your local grocery. While you are there, you and your child can make two lists: one labeled “Foods for Strong Teeth” and the other “Foods That Might Hurt My Teeth.” Together, you decide which list each food item would go. You might even make a third category labeled something like, “Once-in-a-While Treat.”
Speak to your child about their taste buds on their tongue and how they work. Tell them how your taste buds send messages to your brain so that it can identify what the body is eating. These taste buds are how your child can identify his or her favorite foods, as well as the ones they don’t like. Remind your child that even though something tastes good, it doesn’t mean that it’s healthy for you.
Educating on Cavities
A permanent marker, watercolor marker and a paper towel can actually help you explain to your child how cavities can spread. With a permanent marker, draw the shape of a tooth on the paper towel. Then with the watercolor marker, place a dot on the tooth. You can explain to your child that a cavity can be a small hole in the tooth, but that it can get bigger without proper dental care. Then, drip a little water onto your “cavity” and watch as it spreads.
If you would like more ideas on how to teach your child about their dental health, please give us a call. Your child’s smile is our top priority, so let us help you achieve your child’s best dental health today!