Many children. Just. Don’t. Like. Brushing. Their. Teeth. And no one knows precisely why.
It could be the shock of cold water hitting teeth, the idea that brushing their teeth is something they “have to” do, the smell or taste of the toothpaste, or something we haven’t even thought of yet.
What we do know, however, is that good oral hygiene habits are a part of a healthy life and the sooner kids learn to fit it into their daily routines, the better their oral and general health will be.
With that in mind, Forster Dental Centre offers the following tips to help you make dental hygiene habits more fun for your kids.
Shop for oral hygiene products together and give your children input
If your kids enjoy going shopping with you, shop for some fun dental supplies with them.
Let them have the chance to choose their fun toothbrushes and toothpaste, although it’s best to choose options with the Australian Dental Association Seal of Acceptance on them.
You’ll find a surprisingly wide range of toothbrushes to choose from, including ones featuring comic book characters, superheroes, and TV stars.
These snazzy toothbrushes may make brushing more fun for your child, particularly if your child chooses the toothbrush themselves.
Quality toothpaste also comes in many different flavours and colours, so let your child make that decision too.
Letting them pick their dental supplies may give them a sense of control and get them interested in sticking to their regular oral hygiene routine.
Add music to brushing
Are your kids music fans? Perhaps adding some music and rhythm to their teeth-cleaning routine will make the whole process more exciting.
You can find apps that offer music that plays for two minutes while your kids brush, or you can play your child’s favourite tune while they are brushing their teeth – pick a song that is long enough for two full minutes of brushing, flossing and any other hygiene habits you want them to observe.
Show them the way
Before they reach school age (and long after for many children) children most likely aren’t brushing or flossing very effectively as they lack the coordination and concentration needed.
So when your children are young, you need to brush their teeth yourself or control their hand as they brush. The same is true of flossing.
But even at the stage you are doing their brushing and flossing, make sure they get to see you brushing and flossing.
This reminds them of its importance and demonstrates the proper technique.
Making oral hygiene a family affair helps your kids learn by your example, and they’ll be more likely to brush and keep good oral hygiene routines when they see their parents doing it too.
This may seem a bit mercenary, but if nothing else works, offer rewards.
After all, adults get rewarded for good choices (e.g. work bonuses) so why shouldn’t children? A little something designed to provide motivation would be enough.
Award stickers or gold stars and when your child reaches their goal, give them a book or present. Just get them to brush their teeth!
The Child Dental Benefits Schedule
It is a vital part of good oral hygiene for kids to acclimatise them to the dental office. The good news is that for many children, the Child Dental Benefits Schedule can help.
In the Australian Government federal budget, there is an allocation of $1 billion for the Children’s Dental Benefits Scheme (CDBS) to continue until at least 2022.
The CDBS provides financial assistance for basic treatment and dental services for Australian children between the ages of 2 and 17.
Children who are eligible can receive $1000 worth of dental treatment over a two-year period.
Children are eligible if their family is a recipient of Family Tax Benefit A or any other applicable Centrelink social security payment.
Families are usually notified of their eligibility in a letter sent to them by Medicare.
As an added convenience, all treatment is bulk-billed via Medicare, which means no out-of-pocket expenses for parents!
The CDBS can be used for the following dental treatments:
- Dental checkups and cleans
- Dental X-rays
- Fissure sealants tooth extractions
- Root canal treatment
- Fissure sealants
The CDBS does not cover cosmetic or orthodontic dental work, and neither is work performed in a hospital.
Your Local dentist at Forster Dental Centre
At Forster Dental Centre, we provide each patient with the care that allows them to maintain healthy teeth and a beautiful smile for life!
We offer an extensive range of dental services from preventative dentistry to restorative dental options along with the latest in cosmetic dentistry solutions for straighter and whiter teeth.
We pride ourselves on listening to your concerns and needs, and we provide you with the personalised attention you and your family deserves.
Child Dental Benefits Schedule
Bulk Bill for children who are eligible for Medicare Child Dental Benefit Schedule
Up to $1000 worth of dental treatments over two years
We are located at 1st Floor Forster Tower, 12 Wallis St in Forster.