When you were in school and your instructor was teaching you a topic, did you learn by listening, reading, watching an experiment or hands on learning? Adults process information differently and a child isn’t any different. Some may want to have you read a book to them, others may be able to get all the information from a short video while another may require 2 or 3 styles of learning to reinforce the lesson.
We have come up with some ways to explain dental health to your child so you can choose what the best way is for your child to learn about oral health:
- Visit with your child and ask them to name things they do to stay healthy. Talk to them about things they do every day to stay healthy like taking a bath, eating veggies or washing hands. Having good oral health is just as important as those things to the overall health of their bodies.
- Talk to them on their level. You may be able to talk about plaque to your 8 year old and have them understand that it contains harmful bacteria that causes tooth decay and cavities. But explaining it to a toddler may require a gentler, simplified approach.
- Have a conversation with your child about the risks of poor oral health. If you are talking with your older child you may remind them or ask them how it felt to be missing a tooth. Maybe they recall talking a little funny or water spilling out.
- Do an experiment with your child! Take a couple of translucent Solo cups and in each cup add the following to EACH cup: 2 TSP of yeast and 1 cup of warm water. Then in ONE cup add 1 TBSP of sugar. Mix the cups with seperate spoons. Then watch the sugar cause a “Plaque attack” and take over the cup. Talk about how the sugar causes plaque to grow in your mouth just like the sugar did in the cup.
- Read children's books about taking care of their teeth. This will help them relate having clean teeth to other children or fictional characters and make them more apt to make it a habit. If your little boy sees Ryder from Paw Patrol brushing his teeth then maybe he will want to as well!
- Videos are also a great way to teach your child about good oral health. There are a lot of videos on YouTube for kids in regards to oral hygiene so watch a few and pick a couple to show your little one.
We hope that you found these ideas helpful and if you have other ideas make sure you leave them in the comments to help another parent out!
We look forward to seeing you and your child at their next appointment and if it is not scheduled yet give us a call today and we will get that set up! We hope you have fun doing experiments and visiting with your child about their health!