My two boys are complete opposites when it comes to brushing their teeth and sticking to a good oral health routine. One will want to brush his teeth every single time he hears someone in the bathroom, whilst the other will ‘forget’ and actually leave the house – my worst nightmare! – without brushing his teeth.
We are not sharks (good discussion starter with your kids perhaps? lol), with only two sets of teeth over our lifetime we need to take super good care of them and teach our kids to do the same. Like anything, establishing great oral health habits isn’t complicated, it’s just about consistency and routine. Combining these two things with the right tools and your kids should be well on their way to a lifetime of great oral hygiene… fingers crossed!
Easy Oral health Tips for Kids
- Fluoride Toothpaste
A tiny smear of fluoride toothpaste is recommended to clean children’s teeth as soon they pop up. Fluoride helps to strengthen teeth and prevent decay.
- Don’t fear the Dentist!
In New Zealand kids receive free basic dental care until they’re 18! Yay! This means, regular checkups, cleaning, X-rays, preventative treatments like fluoride or fissure, sealants, fillings and extractions. Your child should be automatically enrolled at birth and be seen for their first check-up before they turn two. Nix has just been for his 2nd visit and it’s totally no big deal, it honestly takes 10 minutes max and he enjoyed the whole process. Call 0800 Talk Teeth (0800 825 583) for more info.
- Start early
Good oral hygiene begins even before bubs has his/her first teeth. Using a soft cloth to clean gums and their tongue helps remove bacteria in the mouth. Keep up the good work with gentle brushing with fluoride toothpaste once teeth develop and continue to monitor toothbrushing habits until kids are at least 8 years old.
- Do it right
Technique is everything! Kids can struggle with the amount of pressure to use, the right angles to hit those hard to reach spots and remembering which segment they’ve brushed etc. Having the right tools helps. Ethan’s been using the Philips Sonicare for Kids Toothbrush which uses a dynamic side-to-side cleaning action, rather than a rotating action and has over 31,000 brush strokes per minute which helps remove more plaque than a manual toothbrush, and (I’m sure!) is hugely more effective than the snail’s pace with which he was brushing his teeth before!
I didn’t know this!!! Kids should be flossing as soon as teeth are touching the adjacent tooth. Flossing removes bits of food and plaque that get stuck between teeth, as brushing alone simply can’t reach these tricky spots. It’s about time that our boys step things up in this department.
The toothbrush E’s using below is the new Philips Sonicare for Kids. It’s totally removed my urge to monitor how long he spends brushing his teeth as it has a built-in KidTimer that lets him know when it’s time to switch to a new spot and (crucially!) when he has finished brushing his teeth. He’s also been able to customise it with fun, interchangeable stickers that have got little Nixon seething about his big brother’s new fancy toothbrush! Suitable for ages 4+, Nix will have his own soon enough. A bathroom used by two young boys can get super messy, so I’m loving the anti-roll feature of the Philips Sonicare which helps keep the bathroom at least a little bit cleaner!
You can win a Philips Sonicare for Kids toothbrush RRP $99.95 right here!
To enter, comment below with any tips you have for getting the kids to brush and I’ll choose a winner at random 17/11/16! NZ residents only. You can gain a second entry here > Happy, Healthy Halloween Ideas for Kids.