When children reach a certain age, they want to do everything by themselves. This includes brushing their teeth. 42% of kids have cavities in their baby teeth with 21% of kids ages 6-11 have cavities in their permanent teeth. Driving home the importance of good oral care to older kids is important.
Give Kids Independence
That being said, we have to give kids independence for personal care, but responsibly. Generally speaking, kids don’t have motor skills to brush their teeth adequately until they are between the ages of 6-9. By then, they should be coordinated and responsible enough to brush and floss on their own. This is also the time they start assuming responsibility for other things like chores, homework, and personal care. When it comes to brushing teeth, kids are not as proficient as they need to be. In fact 5 year old only brush about 25% of the surfaces of their teeth, 11 year olds brush 50% and 18-22 year olds brush 67%.
Drive Home Importance of Brushing with Apps
By this age, kids understand what germs are. An easy way to explain plague is telling them how germs from plague attack their teeth – nobody wants that nastiness in their mouth! Drive this point home with apps on your smartphone or tablet, kids respond better with reminders through fun activities like this rather than a nagging mom.
Kids love playing games, so drive home the importance of brushing with free apps like Colgate’s Tooth Defenders games. Kids will have fun protecting their teeth from the evil Placulus and hopefully it will be a good reminder in real life.
Follow Up on Technique with Videos
When germs from plague attack your teeth, it can cause real damage. Follow up on brushing technique with quick videos – have them watch it while brushing even. Have your kids watch this quick video that goes over the basics AGAIN with your kids as a friendly reminder.
Reveal the Results
When kids are younger than 6, they require monitoring. When they get to the ages of 6-9 and older, a product like the mouth wash or tablets show them the results of their brushing. Be sure to do a quick inspection every now and then to ensure they are reaching all surfaces of their teeth. When you show your kids that it is important to you, it will become important to them.
Get Back to the Basics
With tooth decay the #1 chronic childhood disease, it is always good to remind kids of the basics:
- Brush your teeth for 2 minutes, twice a day
- Use a small toothbrush with soft bristles or powered toothbrush like the child’s Sonicare that brushes 500 strokes per second!
- Floss daily (This article shows kids how to properly floss)
- Visit pediatric dentist every 6 months (10 reasons why you should choose a PEDIATRIC dentist for your kids)
Choose Dr. Adam Pollock D. D.S. Pediatric Dentistry
My kids never complain about a trip to the dentist because they like the folks at Dr. Adam Pollock Pediatric Dentistry in Cuyahoga Falls, Ohio. They are friendly, helpful, and professional in every manner. Trips to our pediatric dentist twice a year are just as important as brushing for two minutes twice a day.
If you are looking for a caring pediatric dentistry in the greater Akron, Ohio area, contact Dr. Adam Pollock Pediatric Dentistry today.
Dr. Adam Pollock D. D.S. Pediatric Dentistry
1707 Portage Trail
Cuyahoga Falls, OH 44223
Monday – Friday 8am – 5pm
Saturdays 9am – 1pm
Dr. Adam Pollock Pediatric Dentistry is conveniently located in Cuyahoga Falls, Ohio, just minutes from Akron, Stow, Munroe Falls, Kent, Hudson, Peninsula, Tallmadge, Ellet, Copley, and Fairlawn, Ohio.
Header image photo credit Steven Depolo