5 Unique Dental Routines Children Can Use To Have Healthy Mouths
Building up proper oral hygiene in children is important as they grow more independent and use these same habits as adults. Starting clean teeth routines as young as possible is the best way to supplement professional dental work and keep the mouth clean. Not only will these habits help eliminate excess bacteria, but it will help make a child feel more comfortable each time they visit the dentist.
The following five routines are simple to implement at home and can all be made more enjoyable when a little fun is infused to the process.
Along with brushing and flossing, the use of a water pick can help eliminate bacteria and massage the gums in your mouth. Water picks force water out of a small spout and directly onto the teeth and gums. The direct stream helps wash away particles and bacteria. The massaging of the gums will increase natural blood flow and help prevent common gum diseases like gingivitis.
Water picks are also ideal for children with braces. Instead of dragging a toothbrush through the wires, the water pick can squirt out food particles and keep braces clean.
A lot of bacteria and particles that cause bad breath can form on the tongue. This area is often forgotten during brushing, so children can be introduced to tongue scraping instead. Tongue scraping can be done with either a metal spoon or an actual tongue scraping product. By moving the scraper back and forth on the tongue, all of the harmful bacteria is removed and rinsed off. This process should be completed every time a child brushes for the best results.
Children can get whiter teeth, kill off germs, and have fun at the same time with charcoal brushing. Activated charcoal has been used for years as an alternative to brushing with toothpaste. As a child brushes with the powder, it will turn their mouth completely black. The cool effect makes the child look like a zombie while they brush. Once the brushing is complete, the charcoal can be rinsed out of the mouth using warm water.
Using the charcoal method once a week will encourage a healthy smile.
A child's toothbrush should be replaced every couple of months. Instead of just purchasing new brushes at the store, the whole family can make a fun game out of the occasion. Purchase a collection of toothbrushes to be used throughout the year. It's also a good idea to purchase extra toothpaste at the same time.
Play a collection of your favorite board games. As each child wins a game, they can either select the new toothbrush they want to use or an exclusive toothpaste flavor of their own. The gaming continues until everyone has a new brush. This is a nice twist on a family game night tradition.
Teeth Cleaning Snack Nights
Instead of caking on sugar or other unhealthy items, some nights in the household should be declared "teeth cleaning snack nights." These nights will provide your children with tasty snacks that also work to help clean teeth. A variety of snacks can be offered to encourage the clean mouths.
- Fruits: Hard fruits like apples and pears can help remove plaque and bacteria from the surface of teeth.
- Teas: A variety of herbal and green teas will help reduce the chances of gum disease and bacteria found in the mouth.
- Whole-Grain Foods: Foods with a lot of fiber can help increase saliva in the mouth and decrease the chance for tooth decay. Consider small bowls of fresh pasta or trail mix.
- Popcorn: The edges of popcorn work to clean teeth and keep blood flow moving in the gums. Like any other food, look for plain popcorn rather than packages with added sugar.
Consult with your dentist about any tooth routine changes. They can help enforce it with the children and give you tips on the steps you choose to take.
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