fun ways to prevent childhood cavities

Tooth decay in children has become a growing problem, where the tooth enamel is destroyed and cavities form. Tooth decay happens over time, and it can be pretty simple to prevent with less than 10 minutes a day of maintenance. Daily oral hygiene such as brushing and flossing can make a world of difference in preventative pediatric dentistry.

In fact, tooth decay is the #1 chronic childhood disease and early preventative care can protect children from a world of dental problems in the future!

Childhood Tooth Decay and a Solution

According to the National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research, 43% of children ages 2-11 have had dental caries (tooth decay) and 23% of children ages 2-11 have untreated dental caries. While we all want the best healthcare for our children, dental care has a major role in taking of our children’s oral and overall health. Because of this, we would like to offer fun options for your children to enjoy brushing their teeth.

Certainly, enhancing the engagement of children in their dental care is a crucial step towards establishing lifelong healthy habits. Here are additional fun strategies and educational elements to prevent childhood cavities, expanding on the valuable practices you’ve outlined.

Making Oral Hygiene a Family Game

Create a Reward Chart: Gamify the process of brushing and flossing by creating a reward chart. For every week that your child completes their dental care routine without a miss, reward them with something they value, like an extra story at bedtime or a family outing. This not only encourages consistency but also makes dental care something to look forward to.

Dental Care Themed Story Time: Incorporate books and stories that focus on dental care into your child’s reading routine. Stories about characters who overcome their fear of the dentist or learn the importance of brushing can be very impactful. After story time, segue into brushing and flossing, reinforcing the lessons learned in the tales.

Creative Brushing and Flossing Tools

Electric Toothbrushes: Many electric toothbrushes designed for kids feature beloved characters, lights, and music. These brushes can make the brushing experience more exciting and, due to their oscillating heads, can be more effective in plaque removal compared to manual brushing.

Flavored Floss: Floss comes in a variety of flavors and colors, which can make the flossing process more appealing to kids. Letting your child pick their floss flavor can give them a sense of autonomy and excitement about flossing.

Nutritional Guidance as Part of Dental Education

Healthy Eating for Healthy Teeth: Involve children in preparing snacks and meals that are teeth-friendly. Teaching them about foods that are good for their teeth, and those that can cause harm, empowers them to make healthier choices. You can turn this educational process into a fun activity by using cookie cutters to create fun shapes with fruits and vegetables or hosting a “picnic” with tooth-friendly foods.

Brushing Your Child’s Teeth with Their Favorite Disney Friend

It’s common knowledge that brushing your teeth twice a day and flossing at least once a day is key to maintaining a healthy mouth. Researchers have found that starting before children’s teeth begin to show can strengthen the gums and provide protection against tooth decay as the first set of teeth come in. But, kids with their short attention spans that focus best on activities and icons they enjoy can be intertwined with brushing and flossing as well.

For the children that are obsessed like my daughter with Elsa from Frozen, keeping her excited about brushing her teeth can be as easy as having Disney branded toothbrushes and floss packets. We even can talk about how white and pretty Elsa’s teeth are and ask her if she wants her teeth to be just like hers.

From there, just using the Disney or childhood icon that your kid is in love with can make the process of transitioning into teeth brushing morning or night time a breeze that’s fun and enjoyable for both parent and child.

Brush and Floss with Your Children

Monkey see, monkey do applies to children with their parents. As your children get older and better at brushing their teeth, they can learn by practicing with you. If your child see’s you brushing your teeth with them, you can smile with bubbles, laugh, giggle, teach proper techniques, time spent, and how to spit properly after brushing.

With so many ways to make childhood dental care fun, there’s no better solution to childhood tooth decay than consistent parental guidance and support.

Get Your Kids a Sonicare Toothbrush at Our Dental Office

Introducing the Sonicare toothbrush into your child’s oral hygiene routine can transform their perception of brushing from a chore into an exciting and rewarding activity. At Pickett Family Dental, we’re thrilled to offer Sonicare toothbrushes for kids directly in our office. These toothbrushes are specially designed to appeal to children, with vibrant colors and engaging characters that make brushing fun. More importantly, they’re equipped with technology that ensures a thorough clean, effectively combating plaque buildup and helping to prevent cavities.

When you visit our office, we not only focus on providing top-notch dental care but also on educating families about the best tools for maintaining oral health at home. Our team can demonstrate how the Sonicare toothbrush works and show you and your child how to get the most out of its features. The interactive app that accompanies the toothbrush teaches kids proper brushing techniques in a way that’s fun and easy to understand, ensuring they’re both entertained and educated.

Start Taking Your Child to the Dentist Early

Another thing that helped of our patients, a little girl of just 18 months at the time, was by starting her early with her dental visits. The first visit is a fun visit and it’s great to pair with a parent getting their teeth done if possible. If it’s just for the child, allowing them to see and play with some of the equipment at our dental office in Keller can remove the scariness of being in a new place and having dental instruments near and inside their mouth. After just two visits, this little girl became so excited that she runs around playing dentist at home and reminds her parents before bed that it’s time to brush their teeth and floss.