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How to Encourage Your Child to Take Care of Their Smile

How to Encourage Your Child to Take Care of Their Smile

Dr. Michael Layton
October 27, 2014

Most children refuse to brush their teeth on a regular basis. Trying to get a child at night to settle down is one thing let alone getting him or her to brush their pearly whites. Any parent will testify to the fact that you can not deal with children from the left brained perspective. Reasoning with a child using pure logic is a sure recipe for failure as any parent will tell you. To get a child to do what you want you have to appeal to their emotions. To get a child to take care of their teeth, you have to make the process fun.

In terms of dental health for children, it’s never too early to begin a daily program for taking care of that beautiful smile. With today’s western diet tooth decay is of paramount importance for any parent concerned with child dental health.

Bacteria found in plaque can result in Early Childhood Tooth Decay. Early Childhood Tooth Decay (ECTD) affects baby teeth, caused by food particles left in the mouth. Most processed food in today’s society contains refined sugars, contributing to the prevalence of tooth decay in children. The bacteria in plaque erodes the enamel on the teeth. Your child’s diet is the first step in eliminating the possibility of future tooth decay.

Here are 9 ways you can actionably take to make sure your kids maintain that bright smile they’ve always had.

1. Routine

Like everything in life the key to success is a daily routine. Performing a certain act for 30 days in a row usually results in the act becoming a habit. The foundation for establishing optimal dental hygiene is best accomplished early in life. Incorporating dental care before putting your child to bed at the same time every night can be included as a nightly regimen. The first five years of a child’s life lays the foundation for the rest of their lives. If a child learns early to brush their teeth after every major meal they will continue to do so into their adolescent and adult years.

2. Dissolving Agent to Show Plaque

There are many ways to make dental care fun for kids today. Children are visual creatures and this is one reason why showing children the plaque on their teeth using special tablets is so effective. After your child finishes brushing have them rinse with their mouth with fresh water. Place a plaque dissolving tablet on the tongue and let the mouth’s saliva dissolve for 30 to 60 seconds. After your child spits out the mixture any plaque on the teeth will be revealed as a bright colour. Many kids get a kick out of actually seeing the plaque visible on their teeth. Have your child brush a second time time to remove the plaque that remains in the mouth. Plaque disclosing tablets can be purchased at Oral B or online at or any retailer that sells dental products.

3. Sing a Song While Brushing Teeth

Young children learn best through musical melodies and lyrics that rhyme. Teaching children the alphabet phonetically is the best way to teach children in a fun easy way. I call phonetic learning 3D learning, children learn best through action. Combining the nightly routine of teeth brushing along with your child’s favourite sing song will aid the parent in oral care. Numerous teeth brushing songs can be found on YouTube and the internet.

4. Kid Flavoured Organic Toothpaste

Children usually have sensitive gums and teeth it is for this reason I recommend an organic toothpaste. Jack n’ Jill is one such manufacture that specializes in organic toothpaste made with calendula. The Calendula Officinalis Extract has natural anti inflammatory properties that are great for oral health. Tom’s of Maine makes fluoride free toothpaste in a delicious strawberry flavour. I have personally used this toothpaste on a number of occasions and I can attest to its addictive flavour. Tom’s of Maine uses all natural ingredients in their products that is mild and gentle.

5. Brushing Teeth Together

Young children often imitate older children or their parents instinctively. Why not brush your teeth with your child at night? You can purchase a little stool for your child in their favourite colour. Make it a nightly ritual before putting your child to bed is also a good way to bond with your mini-me.

6. Reward for Brushing Teeth

Giving your child a reward for maintaining their oral health can be kept track using a calendar. For example, if your child diligently brushes their teeth seven days in a row without being told you can let them pick their favourite animated feature for movie night.

7. Sugarless Confectionary

The market for sugar free candy or confectionery is slowly growing. More and more people who want to avoid dental decay have more options than ever before when it comes to fulfilling their sweettooth. Some sugarless candy manufacturers substitute sugar with agave. Large companies like Hershey’s, Twizzlers and Werther’s have seen the light and have jumped on the bandwagon. For those people who are raising children vegan they even have organic and vegan candy for sale. Check out the Natural Candy Store a 100 percent natural candy company that sells directly online.

8. Eat Sweet Fruit

Pineapples, strawberries, blueberries and blackberries are sweet and they taste great. Fresh fruit is cleansing and the fruits I mentioned rank high on the ORAC (Oxygen Radical Absorbance Capacity) scale. Health conscious parents should be aware there is a high sugar content in some fruits. Oral health should still be maintained regardless if eating sugar free candy or fruit.

9. Consider Orthodontic Treatment

Orthodontic treatment and orthodontic surgery are options to help maintain the incredible smile your kids have enjoyed for their early years. Don’t let tooth misalignment and irregularity in the jaw area affect your

There you have it there are no excuses for children today getting cavities. Teaching kids to brush their teeth can be a fun activity instead of the chore it used to be.


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