How To Motivate Your Children To Floss

motivate your children to flossGetting your children to do anything you want them to do is not always easy. Oral hygiene is no different. Many kids run kicking and screaming when their parents ask them to brush and floss their teeth. While convincing your child to brush their teeth is hard enough, sometimes parents overlook flossing.  Below are some tips on how you can motivate your children to floss.

Make A Flossing Chart – Making a chart where your child can use stickers or check marks to mark of when they floss is a good motivation, especially for small children.  Hang it in the bathroom and offer a reward after a week or month of them keeping on track. Non-monetary rewards often work the best.  Things such as staying up a half hour longer or reading an extra story with mom or dad!

Make Flossing Fun – Some parents have found that if they make a song or game out of flossing their children respond better. You may even have them count their teeth as they floss.  This is exciting for young children.

Get Them Oral Care Products – There are many oral care products that made just for kids.  You can find toothpaste, mouthwash and floss in certain colors and flavors.  You can also find dental picks and flossing sticks in different colors or designs on the handles.

Praise – Always praise them for good habits.  Tell your children you are proud of them for taking good care of their teeth.

Practice What You Preach – Kids learn best by imitating things that their parents and others do.  If they see you flossing daily, they will be more likely to floss as well.

Tips To Motivate Your Children To Start Flossing|Your Dental Health Resource

How You Can Help Your Autistic Child Learn To Brush

It is a grand job to take care of an autistic child and help them learn health related habits. They are quite sensitive and therefore they should be dealt with extreme caution. As parents you may have to work really hard to see to it that they develop properly.  Often, your autistic child may refuse to do the things that you have taught. Just like any other thing, teaching an autistic child to brush his teeth is a tough job.

autistic childAutism is a genetic defect that has been found to affect males more than females. Parents have always found it difficult to teach brushing to their autistic children. A few experienced parents have come up with some tips that were helpful for them and might be of use to you as well. Some of them are listed below.

  1. This is not a one day affair. You cannot expect your autistic child to learn things at the same rate as any normal child. You have to be extra-patient and extra-compassionate regarding your child. Just try to focus on the fact that your child will learn things for sure but at a slower pace.
  2. While you brush your child’s teeth speak out and brush. Simple directions like “brush left then right” will help the child learn brushing gradually. You may have to repeat it over and over until your child grasps it totally and accepts it as a normal routine.
  3. Another trick to try is to have a specific count of strokes. The child will have a small target in his mind or he will be able to realize the fact that after say about ten strokes on the right he will have to go for ten strokes on the left side.
  4. Never try to be a control freak, which most modern parents tend to be. Remember our kids are born to us but we are not their owners. We are just their caretakers. Try to keep them in mind while deciding things like the color of the toothbrush, the flavor of the toothpaste or the stool on which they have to stand to brush. This gives them a special feeling of importance as they understand that their likes and dislikes do matter in your life.

These are just few of the methods that you can try. What matters the most is the love that you have for your child. Your child is an individual with a unique personality. All you have to do is to respect them and love them infinitely.

An Unforgettable Visit From The Tooth Fairy

tooth fairyWhen your child loses their first tooth it’s a big deal; and most children know that not only does this mean they are a big kid, but that they will be getting a visit from the tooth fairy. Children are excited to put their first tooth under their pillow to wake up in the morning and find money or a prize in its place.  As a parent, you want to make this first time event in your child’s life as special as possible. Here are some creative ideas that will make your child’s first visit from the tooth fairy unforgettable.

A certificate or letter – Having an official certificate is a cute way to honor your child for their first lost tooth and visit from the tooth fairy.  You can find many ideas and materials online to try out.  Things like receipts, certificates and letters from the tooth fairy on miniature paper so it looks just like it was sent from her are so fun for kids.

A treasure hunt – Instead of your child waking up to a reward under their pillow, have the tooth fairy send them on a treasure hunt for their treasure. Leave clues under their pillow and around the house until they find some gold coins or a fun present at the end.  Add in some fairy dust for a magical finish.

A glass of water – A fun alternative to putting the tooth under your child’s pillow is to have them leave it in the bottom of a big glass of water.  In the morning they can see that the tooth fairy jumped in to get their tooth because of the magic dust (glitter) and coins left behind.

Tooth fairy basket – The tooth fairy may want to copy off the Easter bunny and bring a basket full of goodies in exchange for your child’s first tooth.  But instead of chocolate eggs and other goodies, the basket should be full of healthy snacks, books, money, or even a new toothbrush.  Include a hand written letter (on miniature paper, of course) from the tooth fairy.

Make a tooth fairy door – You can find supplies for miniature doll houses and create a whimsical door for the tooth fairy to enter through.  It’s a simple way to keep the magic of the tooth fairy alive.

Whatever you choose to make your child’s first lost tooth unforgettable, also don’t forget to talk with them about good oral hygiene habits and help get them excited about keeping their permanent teeth clean and healthy.

How To Make Your Child’s First Visit From The Tooth Fairy One They’ll Never Forget|Great Smiles

Pacifiers and Teeth

Many parents use pacifiers to help soothe and comfort their babies.  But parents may also be concerned about the effects of pacifiers after long term use.  You can rest assured that your baby can enjoy a pacifier without it interfering with early oral health, if it is used correctly. Here are some things you should know about pacifiers and teeth.

The benefits of pacifiers for infants and toddlers is it gives them comfort and a way for them to calm themselves.  According to some researchers, infants who use pacifiers are also at a lower risk of sudden infant death syndrome. But if used incorrectly, pacifiers do have their downsides.  Bacteria that cause tooth decay don’t occur naturally in children’s mouths, they are passed on.  So, putting a pacifier in your own mouth before giving it to your child introduces that possibility of bacteria being exchanged. Some parents also encourage tooth decay be dipping the pacifier in sugar or honey before giving it to their baby. Lastly, keep in mind that long term use can create crooked teeth, bite problems, changes in jaw alignment, and imperfect tooth position.  It is a good idea to try and wean your child of the pacifier by the time they are beginning to talk so that they can learn proper speech.

If you are considering a pacifier for your child, you will want to be sure to buy one-piece pacifiers with no moving parts.  Be sure that they have sealed bases and shields that are wider than your baby’s mouth. Also, choose a nipple made with silicon because it will harbor fewer germs than latex.

Other things to consider are to be sure to clean the pacifier thoroughly before putting it in your baby’s mouth.  Don’t attach a pacifier to a string, cord or ribbon as it can be a strangulation hazard. Talk to your pediatrician or dentist if your baby hasn’t given up the pacifier by age three.

Caring for your infant’s teeth isn’t just about correct pacifier use.  Clean your child’s teeth twice a day and floss them once they begin touching one another.

Pacifiers and Teeth: How To Protect Your Baby’s Oral Health|Colgate

Baby Bottle Tooth Decay

baby bottle tooth decayWhat is baby bottle tooth decay?  You may also here it referred to as bottle mouth or early childhood caries.  The medical term, is infant caries (or cavities) and it describes tooth decay in infants and young children.

Baby bottle tooth decay usually occurs on the front teeth, and show as dark or brown spots on the teeth. The cavities are caused by too much sugar found in milk or formula or other artificially sweetened liquids and snacks. When an infant sleeps with a bottle, or uses a bottle or sippy cup for extended periods of time, the sugar will sit on the teeth and cause decay more quickly.

Cavities in infants can be a serious problem.  Children need their teeth to chew and to learn proper speech.  The baby teeth are also there to hold the space for permanent teeth.  If a tooth is lost too early, or if tooth decay is left untreated, pain and infection can occur.

The best way to prevent baby bottle tooth decay is to be smart about bottle feeding and about properly cleaning your child’s teeth. Here are some tips:

  • Don’t put your child to sleep with a bottle of juice or milk.
  • Don’t let your child walk around with a bottle of juice or milk.
  • Avoid filling bottles with sugar water, soft drinks, or juices.
  • Teach your child how to drink from a regular cup and try to wean them off the bottle by about 12 months.
  • Encourage healthy habits and limit sweets.
  • Wipe your infant’s gums after feedings.
  • Brush your child’s teeth as soon as they begin to grow in.

Baby Bottle Tooth Decay|Healthline