Developing good dental habits as a child is important. As soon as your child starts to develop teeth, it is the right time to start teaching them how to take care of them. Prepare your child for their first dentist’s visit and instill good habits early on by showing them how to properly take care of their mouths.

Sorting Activity

The fine folks at the Elite Dentistry of Simi Valley will agree that sugar and junk food are bad for teeth and that fruits and vegetables are healthy for teeth. Help your child to understand this concept. Before their first official dentist visit, do a learning activity with them. Print out two clipart images of a tooth as well as pictures of various foods. Have your child sort the foods into  “good for teeth” and “bad for teeth” categories. This will give them a better understanding of what keeps their teeth healthy and strong versus what will give them cavities.

Practice Brushing

Adults and children should brush their teeth daily. Adults may understand this better than children, but if children can actually see what they are doing when they brush they can better understand the importance of regular brushing. Color with a dry-erase marker on a couple of plastic ice cube tray “teeth.” Give your child a soft-bristle toothbrush and let them brush away the “plaque,” reminding them to get the hard-to-reach places. Seeing how effective brushing is can help drive home the importance of doing it properly.

Toothbrush Timer

If the two minutes that your child should be brushing goes by suspiciously fast, let them help you make a timer. Fill a baby food jar with about 1 tablespoon of fine glitter and the rest with water. When it’s time for Junior to brush their teeth, shake the jar and have them brush until all the glitter settles to the bottom of the jar. Being able to see how much time is left will make the task less daunting for children and watching the glitter settle is an added bonus.

Make a Chart

Create a tooth brushing chart that lists the days of the week and let your child place a sticker on it every time they brush their teeth. Each day should have two stickers on it and they are reward enough to motivate little ones to brush. What child doesn’t love stickers?

Developing good habits early on is important for the wellbeing of oral health. Help your child with these habits by encouraging toothbrushing and good oral hygiene at a young age.