Ask Your Forney Dentist: How to Get Your Child Excited About Brushing Their Teeth

Did you know that tooth decay is considered one of the most common chronic diseases that affect kids? It’s true.

Children with poor dental health are nearly three times more likely to miss school because of dental pain than their peers who have good oral health. Plus, toothaches can affect their performance, leading them to struggle in school.

In most cases, bad oral health and tooth decay are preventable, and prevention starts with strong dental healthcare habits, like brushing their teeth. Unfortunately, many kids don’t automatically take to their oral health routine. That means it’s time to get them excited about brushing their teeth.

How? Follow these easy tips from your Forney dentist to get your kids excited about taking care of their oral health!

Lead by Example

Many young children look up to their parents. So, if you want them to take their oral health seriously, then you need to too.

Make activities like brushing your teeth a family affair by brushing your teeth while your child brushes theirs. This shows them that, by taking part, they are just like mom, dad, or their older siblings. And that can go a long way when it comes to encouraging them to brush.

Use Kid-Friendly Products

There is a wide range of oral health products designed with children in mind. This includes toothbrushes, oral rinses, and toothpastes that feature fun characters, unique colors, and enticing flavors.

In many cases, these products are geared towards kids’ needs, ensuring that they provide all of the function and protection in a form that children love.

If your kid is excited about a particular cartoon character or flavor, then consider working that into their routine. This may help motivate them to brush their teeth regularly, as it allows them to use items that they connect with on a different level than a standard brush, rinse or toothpaste.

Create a Reward System

When in doubt, create a reward system to help encourage your child to brush their teeth. This can include anything from a chart that allows them to place a new sticker on it whenever they complete their routine (and a big reward whenever the fill the chart up), a dime into a piggy bank, or anything else that gets them excited.

The reward doesn’t have to be expensive to be effective, so don’t assume that it will cost you a lot to build a reward system.

Get Regular Checkups

Just like adults, children need to see their Forney pediatric dentist regularly to ensure proper oral health. By doing so, you can make sure that their routine is effective. Regular dental check-ups give you valuable information in case you need to make changes to ensure their teeth and mouth stay healthy.

If it’s time for your child to have a checkup, contact your kid-friendly Forney dentist today.

7 Books to Help Your Child Look Forward to Visiting Your Forney Dentist

February is Children’s Dental Health Month, making it an excellent time of year to make sure your child is up-to-date on their dental treatments. But many parents struggle when it comes to making their child comfortable with the dentist and we want to help make that easier.

A book is an easy and fun way to help a child prepare for their visit with your Forney dentist, giving them an idea of what to expect and an opportunity to feel excited about the experience. Here are seven of our favorite books for children about visiting the dentist:

  1. “Just Going to the Dentist” by Mercer Mayer

This classic and heartwarming book follows Little Critter while he visits the dentist. It covers topics like x-rays, professional dental cleanings and even finding a cavity. It’s a great option for preparing your child for their visit to the dentist.

  1. “ABC Dentist: Healthy Teeth from A to Z” by Harrier Ziefert

If you want to combine learning the alphabet with helping your child feel confident about the dentist, then this book is for you! It covers 26 letter-specific entries that include facts about dental care, equipment, procedures and more.

  1. “My Dentistry, My Friend” by PK Hallinan

This book uses a fun rhyme scheme to discuss dental health topics like brushing and flossing, while also covering why seeing the dentist is important and what your child can expect during an appointment.

  1. “Sesame Street Ready, Set, Brush!” by Che Rodko

For children who are already familiar with Sesame Street characters like Elmo, this pop-up book is a fun option focused on proper tooth brushing, why it is essential and how seeing the dentist helps keep them healthy. It also uses a fun rhyme structure and a few interactive elements, making the whole process as entertaining as it is helpful.

  1. “Sugarbug Doug: All About Cavities, Plaque and Teeth” by Dr. Ben Magleby

Sugarbug Doug and its companion coloring book (sold separately) explains how sugar can damage teeth as well as how the dentist helps to keep their mouth healthy. It promotes proper oral care and also helps relieve many fears children may have about seeing the dentist.

  1. “Have You Ever Seen a Moose Brushing His Teeth?” by Jamie McClaine and April Goodman Willy

The rhyming structure and fun images chronicle a moose’s journey as he cares for his “toofers” and regains his “pearly whites” after neglecting his teeth.

  1. “Dentist Trip with Peppa Pig” by Scholastic

This tale follows Peppa and George, two beloved pig characters, as Peppa helps George prepare for his first dental visit. George is initially nervous, but Peppa shows him all of the ways a trip to the dentist can be fun, making it a great book for children who are experiencing some anxiety about their visit.

Ask Your Forney Dentist: Children’s Dental Health Month

Tooth decay and bad oral health are almost entirely preventable! That being said, did you know:

  • Tooth decay is one of the most common chronic diseases affecting children today
  • Kids with poor dental health are almost three times more likely to miss school due to dental pain than their fellow students with good oral health
  • School absences that are caused by toothaches are associated with poorer performance in school

With these statistics in mind, it is a huge priority in the dental industry to educate and emphasize the importance of proper dental health for our children, starting at an early age.

February is National Children’s Dental Health Month

Through the month of February, thousands of committed dentists along with the National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research and the American Dental Association raise awareness on the importance of good dental and oral health in children. The campaign slogan for this year’s Children’s Dental Health Month is “Choose Tap Water for a Sparkling Smile.” The campaign message encourages kids to choose tap water with fluoride over sugary drinks to help promote good oral health. Fun kid’s activity sheets about good oral health and the 2017 National Children’s Dental Health Month campaign can be found here!

So, how can you do your part to help your child keep their smile sparkling and mouths healthy? At Forney Wellness in Forney, we recommend your child visit a dentist by their first birthday, and then have regular dental check-ups every six months. It’s also recommended that your child brushes his or her teeth at least twice a day with fluoride toothpaste. Follow proper toothpaste measurement instructions to ensure little ones are using a safe amount! Flossing daily is also important once baby teeth begin to touch, because flossing can reach spots between the teeth that brushing can’t. You can also check with your Forney dentist about a fluoride supplement which helps tooth enamel become harder and more resistant to decay.

Now is a great time to schedule your child’s dental check-up with our dentist at Forney Wellness in Forney. Let’s start early with the kids in Forney to promote a lifetime of healthy teeth and gums for the children in our community.

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February is Children’s Dental Health Month! Here are 5 Ways to Keep Kids’ Teeth Healthy

Children are notorious for their love of sugary treats. Candy, juice, and soda are just a few of the things many kids consume on a regular basis.

Unfortunately, these habits are causing major dental health problems. Dentists are seeing an increasing number of very young children – many even younger than age 3 – who need invasive dental surgery due to decay. February is National Children’s Dental Health Month, so it’s the perfect time to cover how we can help children get a healthy smile – and keep it that way for life.

  1. Cut back on juice, soda, and sports drinks. Sugary drinks are one of the top offenders for tooth decay in children. The entire mouth gets bathed in sugar as they sip, and many kids drink these beverages throughout the day. It’s a hard habit to break, but it can be done in gradual steps. Replace one sugary drink a day with water or skim milk. Dilute juice with 50 percent water, and only select juices with no added sugar. Try adding fresh or frozen berries to make flavored water, or try cucumber slices or mint leaves.
  2. Keep bottles out of bed. If you have a toddler, he may get in the habit of falling asleep with a bottle – but this can lead to dental problems later. To gradually wean your toddler off the bedtime bottle, feed him before he falls asleep or use water instead of milk or juice in the nighttime bottle.
  3. Beware the chewy foods. This includes so-called healthy options like dried fruits, as well as the obvious gummy candies and even gummy vitamins. These foods stick to the teeth for long periods, leading to cavities. Whenever possible, have kids snack on fresh fruits like apples and strawberries, and look for xylitol-sweetened vitamins for kids. When they do have a sweet treat, choose something like a piece of chocolate, a scoop of frozen yogurt, or some fruit with a touch of whipped cream.
  4. Start brushing early. Toothbrushes are available for babies, toddlers, and older children. Infants’ teeth can be cleaned with a damp washcloth. Toddlers can start brushing with a toothbrush and water (with your help) once they have a few teeth. At age 3, kids should brush with fluoride toothpaste twice daily. Supervise your child’s brushing until at least age 7 to ensure they are cleaning all surfaces.
  5. Take your child to the dentist sooner rather than later. Your dentist at Forney Wellness can help you spot problems early to keep your kids’ teeth healthy. They may see areas that aren’t getting brushed thoroughly (a common problem with children) or may see weak spots that need extra attention to prevent a cavity. In addition, your child’s dentist can do fluoride treatments and other preventive care – possibly saving your child from fillings or invasive procedures later.

Your dentist at Forney Wellness is your advocate for healthy teeth – starting with the youngest members of your family. Establishing good dental health in childhood leads to beautiful smiles that last a lifetime. Call and schedule a dental appointment for your children at Forney Wellness. It could be one of the best things you do for their health!