Managing A Child’s Dental Habits As Easily As Possible

Parents and guardians are bombarded with a brilliant display of colors and advertisement for flavors designed to pull in a child's sweet tooth and imagination. Unfortunately, not all dental products have the same impact on a child's mouth, whether you're looking at effective cleaning or whether the kid likes it or not. As you look through the different options, keep a few ideas in mind to make the selection process and habit forming easier.

Highlighting The Signs Of Bad Hygiene

There are many videos, pictures and other visual aids that can guide (or at least frighten) a child towards proper dental hygiene. Pictures of cavities and stained teeth are an effective tool, but to make dental hygiene more effective, consider bringing a child's attention to what is already going on in their mouth.

The buildup of plaque and food particles is a problem that many teens and adults understand, but a child may not know or care about the problem. Plaque and other dental film buildup sources occur at different rates depending on the person and the food being eaten, but if you can teach a child about the uncleanliness of the film and the best way to stay clean (and safe), the dental habits can be built into a child's daily awareness.

Bad tastes and bad breath can be used to help with this type of reinforcement. Although child psychology (or any path of psychology) is subject to debate, it is possible to guide a child towards identifying and caring about problems with their dental hygiene. You can point out the smells and bring more attention to other feelings caused by not brushing and flossing, but you need to be careful with certain techniques.

Try to avoid making fun of the child or shaming them into dental techniques. It may be successful in the main goal, but you could build a series of self-esteem issues that may take a lifetime to fix. 

Make Dental Product Choice A Personal Decision

You're not the only one who may be overwhelmed by all of the choices in the dental hygiene aisle. Children have a lot of choices that are marketed towards them in addition to other products that may seem just as appealing. Unfortunately, a young mind may not be able to separate the packaging from the reality of the product.

Testing out every product is a good idea and eventually something that the child will have to do on their own, but it isn't financially possible for everyone. As you and your child evaluate different options, ask about their favorite flavors and whether the products come close to that flavor.

Many people are critical of the perceived flavors of certain substances used in toothpastes. Some people may think that a strawberry-flavored toothpaste is spot-on the flavor while others may gag at the artificial flavor. It could be an issue of artificial flavor, or it might be the difference in opinion caused by taste buds. Unfortunately, there's no guarantee that a person's child with have the same tastes as the parent. The children will have to taste and decide on their own.

If you'd like samples for taste testing and recommendations that can bring your child closer to proper dental hygiene, contact a family dentist such as those at to begin planning a path to great brushing, flossing and rinsing habits.