As a family dentistry office, we try to stay ahead of the curve. Sometimes this means identifying trends and knowing what our younger patients are into. Whether this means staying up on the latest Disney film or the hottest hits, knowing what kids are interested in helps us to relate to them. What’s pretty clear is that most kids are hooked on media. Whether it is Netflix or YouTube videos, modern children get their information in video form. As a dentist, we can use this to our advantage as a way to teach them how to brush their teeth properly and brush long enough.
Given the need for kids to brush their teeth and fight cavities, the American Dental Association has identified an easy way to get kids to brush their teeth for two minutes at a time. They have launched a website feature two-minute cartoons, sing-alongs and clips from shows so that kids of all ages can watch and brush. As a parent, this makes it easier for you to encourage your kids since all you need is your smartphone, tablet, or laptop to get started. Simply play and brush. When the show is over they can stop – it’s that simple.
This is far easier than using a timer or a stopwatch; something parents have been trying for decades. If you don’t like your kids watching videos, try music instead. This can be just as effective and can actually be better in the morning when kids need to wake up and get going. You can make a game of it by rotating who gets to pick the music and before long everyone will be brushing and dancing before school in the morning. This is a great way to start the day and will help your child to make a positive association between brushing their teeth and music. As a family dentistry office, we recommend anything that can get your child to get excited and stay excited about oral health.
When you bring them to our family dentistry office, we will reinforce what you are doing at home and the importance of brushing teeth. Most kids are too busy having fun to think about a potential toothache. We can remind them and stress that sticking with an oral hygiene routine is the best way to prevent a problem. Working together, we can help your child to establish good habits now that will impact their future. As a family dentist, we understand that you have limited time to establish positive habits and associations before your child is older and leaving the nest. Once they are no longer under your supervision, the goal is for them to continue with the habits that you instill in the now. That’s why a routine is critical for their long-term health.
When we give them a checkup we will let you know if it looks like they are brushing enough or if they need to improve how they are doing it. If so, we will show them how to brush the right way and there are videos you can play at home to remind them.