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.

5 Tips to Get Your Kids Comfortable with Dental Visits

Routine dental appointments are critical to the maintenance of our health, especially for kids. It’s important that parents instill this habit in their children at an early age. A trip to your dentist at Forney Wellness may seem like a trivial task for adults who know what to expect, but can be intimidating – and even scary – for young kids.

According to the National Children’s Oral Health Foundation, the leading cause of childhood illness results from tooth decay. Approximately 16 million kids in the United States have tooth decay that has been left untreated. Tooth decay and oral problems from a young age not only affects teeth, but overall health and all aspects of life.

Getting your child to the dentist can be a daunting task for parents, especially if your child has peers with prior negative experiences. If you are unsure of how to get your child comfortable with dental checkups, you’re not alone. Below are five tips for helping your child overcome any fear and actually enjoy visits to the dentist.

Tell Them What to Expect

Fear can stem from the unknown. Getting on the website of the dental office you plan to visit to show your child pictures of the office can be helpful. When you call the office to schedule a visit, ask for a rundown of the appointment so you can later relay that to your child. As you brush your child’s teeth, explain that the dentist will also be doing the same type of thing. The more information the child has, the more empowered they can feel.

Be Honest and Understanding

If your child needs dental work, it can be tempting to lie about things like how cavities are treated. Honesty is the best policy, however, it is important to remember to use words that are non-threatening to your child. If your child has dental visit fears, ask them to tell you what they are specifically; try to listen and understand how they may be feeling. Answer their questions, and offer positive experiences of dentals visits you have had.

Explain that Dentists are the “Good Guys”

Children need to know that dentists are superheroes for their teeth. Explain to your kids that they only get two sets of teeth, and we have to take good care of them because they have to last a lifetime. Explaining that similar to brushing and flossing, visits to the dentist are part of that routine to grow big and strong. According to the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry, you should take your child to the dentist twice a year. These visits should begin when your child starts getting his/her teeth, or around age one.

Make It Exciting!

Showing your child pictures of the dental office– as we previously mentioned in the first step – can inevitably spark some enthusiasm. Some dentists have really neat play areas and unique toys, which makes it something your child can look forward to. Going to the dentist is a new adventure! Using encouraging language such as, “We get to go to the dentist” instead of, “We have to go to the dentist” can also be helpful in making it a fun experience.

Be There

Being physically present during your child’s appointment goes a long way in ensuring they feel confident and safe. For a lot of kids, separation from their caretaker or parent can cause anxiety and/or fear. Make certain the person scheduling your appointment is okay with you staying with your child during the duration of the visit.

Other than eating healthy foods and practicing good oral maintenance, taking your child to the dentist is the single most important way to support healthy teeth. Utilizing these five tips will help ensure your child is not only comfortable visiting his or her dentist at Forney Wellness, but they enjoy it too!

Dear Tooth Fairy

Do you recall visits from the Tooth Fairy as a child? Children are often so excited about losing a tooth, because they know a visit from the Tooth Fairy is imminent. Traditionally, the Tooth Fairy takes children’s lost teeth from under their pillows as they sleep, replacing it with money. Some children even have special boxes, pillows, or stuffed animals designed to keep the tooth safe while it awaits its collection from our fictional flying friend.

Although the Tooth Fairy is relatively new to human traditions, people from all cultures have been celebrating or commemorating the loss of children’s baby teeth for centuries, according to The Salon. Some ancient cultures would bury, hide, or even burn the lost teeth as part of a cultural ritual. And although her exact origins are unknown, she is a common figure in well over 90 percent of American households, according to one survey.

Whatever traditions you hold, the loss of a child’s baby teeth is an important milestone. It’s one small step closer to adulthood and independence. And, as many children have proven in these hilarious and adorable letters to the Tooth Fairy, they are more than up to the task:

A few favorites from Buzzfeed:

Dear Tooth Fairy,
Please don’t take any of my teeth because I love them all and if you can give my all the others back pretty please. But you can still give me money still.
To: Tooth Fairy
From: Hailey

To Tooth Fairy,
Dear Tooth Fairy I lost my tooth yesterday, but I didn’t put it under my pillow because Christmas Eve was tomorrow so I saved it so Santa and you could meet each other. That’s why. And now it’s Christmas Eve. Now you and Santa will meet each other.
Love Allister

Dear Tooth Fairy,
I can’t find the thing I put my tooth in so I’ll have to do without. Anyway here is a 15c for working very hard and instead of you giving me money I give you it.
P.S. My tooth is a little brown from the blood.

More cute letters from Babble:

Dear Tooth Fairy:
I have just lost my 11th tooth. I have been working on it all morning! Sorry it has been so long since I lost a tooth. I have been doing a lot of busy stuff this year.
Your fairy loving friend,

Dear Tooth Fairy,
The tooth is outside. Please don’t come inside. Thank you because Lucy is scared of you.

And finally, from POPSUGAR Moms:

Dear Tooth Fairy,
I lost my tooth on the 23rd of October. It is now the 12th of November. I lost my tooth in pizza. I lost both today.  You owe me $1. Not to be hard, but I need money.

Dear Tooth Fairy,
I lost my tooth, so it will not be under my pillow tonight. I do not take credit cards.

If you have young children at home, celebrate the loss of their teeth in whatever way you like! And to help them keep those adult teeth healthy for life, teach them good brushing and flossing habits now – and take them to the dentist twice a year for exams and cleanings. Good dental health is the gift that keeps on giving – long after that Tooth fairy money has been spent.