As an adult, you know that taking care of your teeth is important. You know that regular brushing, flossing, and visits to the dentist can help prevent serious problems like cavities or gum disease. Unfortunately, it can be difficult for young children to come to terms with the important role dental hygiene plays in their lives.
If you are struggling to help your little one recognize the importance of caring for their teeth daily, here are 3 activities that might help you get your point across.
1. Use soda bottles to illustrate proper brushing techniques.
Ensuring that your child brushes each tooth thoroughly can be difficult, but you can help your young one learn proper brushing techniques with a few empty two-liter soda bottles. Cut the bottom off the soda bottles and spray paint them white so they resemble teeth. Next, glue your homemade teeth to a sheet of paper.
Finally, give your kid a toothbrush and let them practice brushing the front, back, and sides of each soda bottle molar. This creative activity will help your children learn proper brushing techniques while giving them a fun task to engage in.
2. Demonstrate how a cavity works with an apple.
Cavities are not only painful at times, but they can lead to more serious problems that must be addressed by a root canal. As an adult, you understand how cavities work, but explaining the concept to young children can be difficult. If you want your child to understand the importance of removing plaque to prevent cavities, turn to your fridge's fruit crisper for help. Take a fresh apple that is free from bruises and let your child poke a hole in the surface. This hole represents a cavity.
Allow the apple to sit for a three week period, and then show the piece of fruit to your child. Just like a tooth with a cavity can remain relatively unchanged on the outside, the apple will appear normal. Cut the apple open to show how discoloration has spread on the inside of the fruit. Your children will be more motivated to brush and floss their teeth once they understand how cavities work.
3. Build better knowledge about flossing with building blocks.
Getting a child to floss can be nearly impossible, but you can make flossing fun by teaching proper technique with building blocks and a piece of yarn. Gather together some mega blocks, modeling clay, and yarn.
Place pieces of modeling clay along the posts of the mega blocks to simulate food and plaque that might be found on the surface of your child's teeth. Let your child have fun trying to remove the modeling clay with their piece of yarn. Explain that just as the yarn had to get into every nook and cranny to remove the modeling clay, proper flossing requires covering the nooks and crannies between teeth.
Teaching your kids to appreciate dental hygiene isn't always easy, but when you make learning fun through the implementation of creative activities your kids will be eager to test their new brushing and flossing skills in the future. Talk to the professionals at Ahwatukee Foothills Dental for more information