Get kids excited about healthy teeth in the new year

Today's guest blogger is Warren Brill, D.M.D., M.S., a pediatric dentist in Baltimore, Maryland. He is president of the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry (AAPD) and a national spokesperson for the AAPD, as well as an advocate for the dental health and well-being of children.

Lose weight, read more, eat healthier…these vows often top lists of New Year’s resolutions. This year, how about resolving to do something good for your children? A resolution to help encourage and motivate your kids to keep their teeth healthy will pay dividends in years to come by preventing costly and painful dental disease. Here are some different tips that will keep your kid’s resolve strong all year long!

Make Brushing a Blast

Brushing does not need to be a bore. Download a favorite tune (around two minutes is ideal) to your smartphone and play it for your child twice-daily during their brushing sessions. Swap it up weekly, daily or whenever your child wants a change. Younger kids may prefer you sing to them while brushing their teeth. Simple songs like the ABCs and Mary Had a Little Lamb are great because you can sing them as many times as you need to get their teeth clean.

Kids like to flex their independence, even in small ways, so let them pick out their favorite toothbrush and toothpaste. Even if you have to buy separate toothpaste for yourself because your tastes don’t match, it’s worth the investment if your kids are brushing more. Look for the American Dental Association’s Seal of Acceptance when selecting toothpaste and be sure the toothbrush is age appropriate.

Add Finesse to Flossing

Berry blast, winter mint and even cupcake are floss flavors that can spice up any flossing routine. Flossing can be tricky, especially for kids. Consider floss picks and floss handles that are specifically made for kids’ smaller hands and even come in fun colors and flavors. Know that even after your child masters brushing by themselves, they probably still need your help flossing. Once your child reaches age 10, they should be able to wield some flavorful floss all on their own.

Find a Pediatric Dentist

Pediatric dentists have two to three years of additional education beyond dental school, so they are specially trained to interact with and cater to the needs of kids. With offices crafted with youngsters in mind, your children will discover they fit right in with the kid-friendly vibe. Parents will love the fact that their kids enjoy - and even have fun - at their regular dental check-ups which should be scheduled every six months.

Good oral health is essential to your child’s overall well-being and quality of life. Kids don’t need the pain of tooth decay distracting them in the classroom or on the playground. Making dental care an important and fun part of their day will ensure their minds are free to focus on work and play. For more tips and to find a pediatric dentist in your area, visit mychildrensteeth.org.


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