At some point, preschoolers learn to do many things without any help. A certain degree of independence is a big step in your child’s development, and it can include getting dressed in the morning and tying shoe laces. It can also include learning to brush teeth by himself, as well as taking responsibility for other oral health care duties.
What is Oral Health Care for Kids?
Getting kids through that transition from when you take care of their teeth to when they do can be tricky. You recognize the importance of dental care, but your little one is just learning what it means to follow a daily routine. Making the learning process enjoyable can help your preschooler stick to the routine, so try some of these crafts and songs to create a lifelong love of oral health.
Preschoolers love getting messy, so why not use arts and crafts to teach your preschooler why consistent oral health is important? Using a poster board, draw or print off a large, smiling face with exposed teeth. Use a marker to color those teeth yellow, then hand it over to the kids to paint the teeth white. Talk about the importance of cleaning teeth so they stay white and healthy. You can hang the finished product in your bathroom as a healthy reminder of what clean teeth should look like. You can also list the answers to the question, “what is oral health” on the poster so your kids are always reminded.
One of the most common mistakes kids make when brushing their teeth is not doing it for long enough. According to the American Dental Association Mouth Healthy website, kids and adults should be brushing for two minutes, twice per day. Songs that last at least as long are a great way to keep them on track. Load up Sesame Street’s “Brushy Brush” on your phone, and let your preschooler watch it while he brushes.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that tooth decay affects more than 25% of U.S. children ages two and five years and 50% of U.S. children ages 12 to 15 years old. By making dental care enjoyable, you can help instill healthy habits that will last a lifetime.
Text: Curtis, Jae (n.d.). What Is Oral Health? Teaching Preschoolers About Dental Hygiene.Retrieved March 16, 2016, from www.colgate.com/en/us/oc/oral-health/life-stages/childrens-oral-care/article/sw-281474979305996
Photo: Retrieved and used from the above cited website article, date retrieved: March 16, 2016.