Everyone has two sets of teeth when they grow up, from the ages of 3 to 6 years children will have 20 baby teeth, which are essentially placeholders in the jaw for the adult teeth which push out the baby teeth between the ages of 6 and 12.
Normally as people enter their teenage years, the last teeth to make an appearance are wisdom teeth, and by the ages of 17 to 21 all 32 of the adult teeth will have made an appearance.
The importance of children brushing their teeth
Oral hygiene (i.e. the practice of brushing one’s teeth) is important with kids as it is with adults, and perhaps even more so during the early stages of a person’s life; keeping a child’s mouth and teeth clean prevents dental problems such as dental cavities, gingivitis, and bad breath.
If you are having trouble encouraging your kids to brush their teeth on a daily basis, here are 7 ways that can help:
1. Brush your teeth together
Children will often mimic adults, and so if you brush your teeth in the morning and evening at the same time as your child, this will increase the likelihood that they will want to brush their teeth too. Regular brushing routines will also help too.
2. Get your kids to use their own toothpaste
You can buy toothpaste that has been specially designed for children, as the sweet taste in kids’ toothpaste will ensure a more enjoyable experience for them. Younger children can even have fluoride-free toothpaste, as it is high likely they will swallow it.
3. Don’t give your children boring toothbrushes
Children are naturally attracted to bright, vibrant colours whereas adults aren’t too bothered about what their toothbrushes look like. Consider getting your children really bright or bold-coloured toothbrushes, to help making brushing their teeth more interesting and fun.
4. Reward (or bribe) your kids for brushing their teeth
Sometimes it can be a tough job trying to get your kids to brush their teeth. Rather than trying to force them to brush their teeth, you should reward them for brushing their teeth at least 2 – 3 minutes in the morning and evening by reading them a bedtime story or taking them out somewhere fun on the weekend.
5. Adopt a regular teeth cleaning routine
People are creatures of habit, and children are no exception; kids love to have structure and routine in their lives. You should make sure that you have a set routine when it comes to brushing your kids’ teeth.
6. Don’t force them to clean their teeth
Usually brushing your teeth with them or offering them a reward for regularly brushing their teeth is enough to make them do so, but you shouldn’t physically force them to clean their teeth as it will be an upsetting and potentially traumatic experience for them!
7. Teach them why brushing their teeth is important
Children might not fully know why they are supposed to brush their teeth on a regular basis, so it is worth educating them on the subject. Sometimes the shock factor alone is enough to make them clean their teeth (i.e. showing them photos of someone’s decaying teeth).
By following these seven simple steps, you can be rest assured that you and your children will be doing all that can be done to minimise tooth decay and loss, especially when they get older.
But even if things get bad for their teeth later on in life, it’s good to know that there are companies such as The Smile Experts that offer dental surgery, although this can prove to be rather expensive, so as they say – prevention is better than the cure!