Coaxing Children Into Dental Habits Can Be A Challenge

Posted on: 2 June 2015


There are a lot of dental care products on the market for children, but the bright colors and sweet tastes aren't a guaranteed way to get a child to like the product you choose. If the children under your care are resisting new or better dental habits and you need a new technique, consider a few ways to bring them closer to a clean mouth.

Flavor Is Their Choice

With so many dental options, a child may be overwhelmed with options and put off by brands that can't get the flavor right. Instead of going straight to the dental aisle, try to have their tastes in mind first.

Does the child have a favorite fruit or candy? Pairing favorites with a matching toothpaste can give the child a direct option to look forward to, which can ease some of the barriers that come with a seemingly boring chore.

Once you have a set of flavor options, it's time to sample different brands. Every brand may have a slightly different flavoring that appeals to different people's taste buds, and a child's taste buds may be drastically different from that of their parents.

It isn't just an issue of child versus adult--age and different genetic variables can make a person's taste seem to change at various stages of life. Don't assume that a flavor will be good for a child because it tastes good or accurate to you.

Mouthwash is another difficult subject for children. Many people were raised on mouthwashes with alcohol and the idea that the burning sensation means that it's working--an incorrect statement, as the burning sensation is actually caused by pain receptors reacting to a change in temperature caused by alcohol. Your tongue is sensitive and can undergo a similar feeling to putting alcohol on a cut.

There is an ongoing debate about whether alcohol in mouthwash is good for you or not--including whether or not alcohol-included mouthwashes are carcinogenic, but one thing to understand is that there are options that do not include the alcohol sting.

Non-alcoholic mouthwashes can lead children towards an easier world of fresh feeling breath, and may be safer in cases of accidental swallowing. A pediatric dentist can help you pick out mouthwashes that are more safe for accidental swallowing, as some retail labels can be misleading.

Explaining The Feeling Of Unclean Teeth

To make brushing teeth matter, it may take more than explaining cavities. A young person may not appreciate the convenience of a healthy set of teeth without first experiencing cavities, but the feeling of cleaning away plaque and gaining fresh breath may be reachable.

Before brushing teeth, you can show children the plaque that builds up on the tooth and gums. Bring the feeling of their mouth to their attention before brushing, then the cleanliness of their mouth afterwards. Although fresh feeling breath and a clean mouth is subjective, the feeling is a good and simple start for explaining the benefits of dental health.

You don't want a child to brush their teeth too often. It can lead to enamel erosion or gum abrasion, as well as continued over-brushing habits into adulthood. Set clear routines and work with a pediatric dentist to keep them on track and in control of their dental health.

Contact a pediatric dentist for personalized assistance with child dental care routines. To learn more, contact a company like Dentistry For the Entire Family with any questions you have.