How to Teach Your Children About Proper Dental Care

Posted by Southeast Family Dental Sep 28,2020

You probably are already aware of this, but children are mirrors of their parents. They reflect the gestures, language, and interests of the adults in their lives. For example, they will emulate how their father drives or how their mother multi-tasks.

And you can take advantage of this when trying to teach the proper tenets of dental care to your children from an early age, especially if you are having a hard time getting your child to floss their teeth or brush twice a day.

Read on for some tips on how to build strong dental habits in your children from when they are a toddler.

Monkey See Monkey Do

As iterated earlier, your children are going to copy what you do, so start using that to teach them about oral health. If you are brushing your teeth twice a day and flossing twice a day, then they will notice that (sponge-like as they are), and they will start building this habit as well.

The adage, “don’t do as I do, but do as I say,” doesn’t work here. If you are telling your children they need to brush twice a day and floss their teeth, but you aren’t doing it yourself, it’s going to fall on deaf ears as your children will end up ignoring everything you say.

Make Flossing and Brushing Fun

Not only do you need to start flossing and brushing with them twice a day, but you need to show them how much fun flossing and brushing can be. It isn’t just a torture device created to annoy parents and children everywhere.

Buy fun toothbrushes for your children that play music or make sounds, or buy delicious minty flosses for them that they can use happily, and that their tastebuds can love.

Sing and do a fun dance as you brush your teeth together as a family. It’s all about creating that feeling in your child that brushing and flossing isn’t a humdrum activity, but playful and humor-filled.

Also, the more you laugh together as a family, the stronger your bonds will grow, and that’s something you can’t put a price on.

SEE ALSO: 5 High-tech Ways Your Kids Can Improve Their Brushing Habits

Gamify Their Experience

The reward system – what parent hasn’t used this to their benefit in their parenting life? You can use the gamification of brushing and flossing to entice your children to stay on top of their oral health.

Build a reward system where you give them a treat or take them to a place of their choice if they manage to brush and floss their teeth every day for a month. Come up with your gamification strategies – be creative with this.

You know your children love playing games of all kinds. Why not make flossing and brushing their teeth a game as well? Fill it with rewards they would actually be interested in.

Don’t Let Them Skip Even a Single Day

Building a habit takes time (some say 28 days, others say 60), and is a fragile thing from the get-go. If you allow your children to miss days here and there, you are sending them a signal that oral health isn’t as important as you say it is. Also, they might build a habit, only to break it a few weeks in, because you let them skip a day or god forbid, a week.

You can only make them understand the importance of proper dental care, by making it a priority in their minds, and schedules. They do not get to go to sleep if they haven’t brushed their teeth. It’s a tough rule, but it’s something you need to enforce, to ensure they don’t end up with cavities, gingivitis, and missing teeth in their teen years or later.

Play the Toothbrushing Game

Sesame Street offers a free toothbrushing game that you can play with your children to help encourage them to build positive dental habits. If your child is spending way too much time on their iPad or other mobile devices anyways, why not use this to your advantage?

Have the smart device at hand, and let them brush their teeth with their favorite Sesame Street characters, thus, invoking a feeling of joy, fun, and camaraderie in the process.

Read Books on Children’s Toothbrushing to Them

There are dozens and dozens of books on children’s toothbrushing out there, and you can take advantage of them, to teach your children how to perform proper dental care. It might seem like you are going over and beyond here, but the habits you establish in their childhood will have far-reaching impacts late into their adult life.

Think of how pearly white and healthy their teeth will look even when they are in their late 40s, and use that as motivation to read books on toothbrushing with your young ones.

Take Them to a Dentist as Soon as They Turn 5

Another thing you can do to ensure your child has good teeth and dental habits is to take them to a dentist as soon as they turn 5 or 6, and have a dentist show them how to brush and floss their teeth properly.

A dentist, in her white coat, can act as a bigger authority than you, and you can use that to convince them of the importance of proper dental care.

Proper Dental Care Isn’t Something to Grin About (Or Is It?)

Are you worried about your child’s oral health and want to do something positive and impactful for it? Start using the tips above, incorporating them bit-by-bit into your daily routine.

You can’t change your child’s habits instantly. But over time, you will see oral health in your entire family improve astronomically.

If you are searching for a family dentist in Indianapolis, contact Southeast Family Dental and get them taking care of your entire family’s dental health asap. They do regular dental care (checkups, etc.) as well as preventative treatment and restorative care.

Leave A Reply

Please fill all the fields.
More Blog Posts
A Dentist’s Favorite TikTok Videos
A Dentist’s Favorite TikTok Videos

Sure, TikTok is filled with all the latest dance crazes and funny pet tricks, but that doesn’t mean a dentist can’t have fun with this viral video app too! Lots of dentists are jumping on the TikTok bandwagon and some of their videos are pretty funny. We asked Dr. Geiger and Dr. Jones to pick out some of their favorite dental-themed TikTok videos. We think you’ll enjoy them as much as they did! Dr. Geiger’s Favorite TikTok Videos Okay, we admit it. We may occasionally use dental lingo that only we understand! But, we still always have your best interests in mind! [] C’mon, admit it. How many of you try to convince how “good” you’ve been since your last checkup? We hope we really aren’t the most hated but yeah, we get it – going to the dentist might not be your favorite part of the day! Dr. Jones’s Favorite TikTok Videos Yes, even the staff at your dentist’s office can get excited doing their job! []  Did you ever wonder how a dentist gets a checkup?

Are smokeless (chewing) tobacco and e-cigarettes bad for your teeth?
Are smokeless (chewing) tobacco and e-cigarettes bad for your teeth?

It is widely known that smoking can seriously harm your oral health. Smoking increases the prevalence of oral cancers, gum disease, plaque, tooth discoloration and loss of bone in the jaw. Risk to oral health? In recent years, e-cigarettes have had a huge increase in popularity. Users enjoy the absence of bad-smelling smoke and the ability to vape inside. There is the lack of any fire risk and potential cost savings compared to traditional cigarettes. Since vaping does not involve inhaling the same thick smoke as cigarettes, some believe that e-cigarettes do not pose a risk to oral health. Although there is some evidence to suggest e-cigarettes may be less harmful to your general health than traditional cigarettes, e-cigarettes can cause serious damage to your oral health. E-cigarettes are known to cause inflammation of the throat and the mouth. Furthermore, these devices are not yet known to be safe to operate. There are multiple documented cases of e-cigarettes exploding in the mouths of users, causing both burns and broken teeth. Lastly, while some people may find e-cigarettes useful as a smoking cessation aid, they can also function as a gateway drug. Significant numbers of young people become accustomed to the actions and rituals of smoking in the first place through e-cigarettes, and then go on to smoke traditional cigarettes. Smokeless (chewing) tobacco A similar dynamic is at work with smokeless tobacco. Some users believe that because they do not inhale any smoke, there will be no harm to their oral health. However, smokeless tobacco is known to have a profoundly harmful impact on oral health. It dramatically increases the risk of oral cancer. Many users also experience gum (periodontal) disease. Tooth discoloration occurs in many cases. Some people also experience a decreased sense of smell and taste. In addition, smokeless tobacco often has harmful additives. Sugar is a common component, which increases the risk of tooth decay and cavities. Sand and grit are also very common in chewing tobacco. Their presence erodes teeth and causes increased teeth sensitivity. Chewing tobacco and vaping might not generate smoke as traditional cigarettes do, but they can be very harmful to your oral health. If you would like to quit smoking, talk to your doctor about smoking aids or programs. If you are experiencing any of effects above, please do not hesitate to get in touch with Southeast Family Dental on 317-359-8000.

That trip to the dentist might not cost as much as you think
That trip to the dentist might not cost as much as you think

Some people avoid going to the dentist because they think of dental expenses as a cost that they can avoid. However, the average dental bill is considerably less than other common household expenses that might not be completely necessary. Coffee, alcohol and the gym The average American spends $700 on coffee each year. Most of this comes from ordering coffee in cafes. While making coffee at home costs no more than a few cents, the same cup of joe might cost over $5 in a cafe. Similarly, the average person over 21 spends $400 each year on alcohol. Moreover, while a typical gym membership costs about $40 or $50 per month, about 70% of those go unused. Going to your dentist, on the other hand, is absolutely essential to safeguard your oral health. Your dentist can help you to improve your oral health, find problems and deal with them before they develop, and also give you peace of mind. Overestimating dental expenses Many people overestimate dental expenses, or assume that they will cost more than they actually do. Wanting to minimize expenses in the short term encourages people to visit their dentist infrequently. This tendency is made worse because many healthcare plans do not include dental coverage. Yet this short-term approach to dental care is actually far more expensive over time. The paradox of dental expenses is that they can be reduced by going to the dentist regularly. This is because of the age old principle that prevention is better than cure. Your dentist can catch problems and deal with them early on. This often saves people a lot of money that they would have to spend treating more serious issues further on down the line. For example, a cavity that could be resolved with a simple filling early on might require a root canal a few months later. Regular check-ups are key Regular check-ups are the key to safeguarding your oral health and also to keeping your dental bills low. If you’d like to find out more or to schedule a check up, please do not hesitate to give the friendly office staff at Southeast Family Dental a call today on 317-359-8000.

Would a Dog Calm Your Fears at the Dentist?
Would a Dog Calm Your Fears at the Dentist?

Do you suffer from fears and anxiety when going to the dentist? Or, maybe a trip to the dentist is a scary event for your child, which also stresses you out? Dental fears, anxiety and phobia are extremely common. It’s estimated that between 5% and 8% of Americans avoid going to the dentist due to fears. Some people (perhaps up to 20%) experience so much anxiety that they’ll only go to the dentist when it’s absolutely necessary. People experience dental anxiety and fears for various reasons, including: * Previous bad experiences at the dentist’s office. * Fear of pain. * Feeling helpless or not in control of the situation. * Embarrassment about the state of their teeth and gums. Being unfamiliar with the instruments, noises and smells in the dental office. This is especially true for young children. At Southeast Family Dental, we understand how the dentist’s office can cause anxiety and fears. But calming fears isn’t just for kids, some adults need help calming their anxiety at the dentist, too. So a dentist located in Northbrook, IL, has found an ingenious way to do just that. He brings a trained comfort dog into his office. The golden retriever soothes nervous kids and adults alike by comforting them during dental exams. In fact, the golden retriever has a sixth sense when it comes to figuring out exactly who needs him the most. A comfort dog really is an excellent idea to calm dental fears, because animals tend to have a soothing effect on people. Other ideas that dentists may use to calm your fears, include: * Providing you with an iPad and headphones, so you can listen to relaxing music or watch a TV program to distract you. * Offering you a blanket for warmth, comfort and the feeling of security. * Giving you nitrous oxide or other sedatives to help you feel relaxed during dental exams or procedures. If you suffer from dental anxiety and fears, talk to our team at Southeast Family Dental. We can talk to you about what to expect during your appointment and help you find ways to ease your fears. We want to make sure your dental experience is as calm, comfortable and stress-free as possible for you.

World Record | Largest Collection of Toothpaste
World Record | Largest Collection of Toothpaste

You’ve probably never really given much thought into how many different types of toothpaste there are in the world. When you head to the stores to pick up a new tube of toothpaste you may be met with dozens of different makes and types of toothpaste. Maybe you have a brand that you have stuck to for years, or maybe you go with whatever is on offer or is the cheapest. But it turns out that there is a whole world of choice out there. Building A World Record Toothpaste Collection One man actually collects toothpaste. Dr. Val Kolpakov is a dentist who actually started out collecting pulled teeth. He switched hobbies and began collecting different types of toothpaste. So far, he has amassed a collection of over 3000 different tubes from everywhere in the world. He switched from pulling teeth to collecting toothpaste because it was “more exciting”. Of course, he displays his entire collection in his Saginaw, MI, dental surgery for all of his patients to see. It’s probably a much nicer sight than his previous collection. It is probably no surprise that will a collection of toothpaste so large, Dr. Val Kolpakov holds the Guinness World Record for the largest collection of toothpaste. So Much Variation In Dr. Val Kolpakov’s world record collection, there are a whole host of different varieties. If you want to feel as though you want a treat while you brush, his collection is home to chocolate, curry, and whiskey toothpaste. One of Dr. Val Kolpakov’s toothpaste dates all the way back to 1801. Although not strictly a toothpaste, because it hadn’t actually been invented then, this is a tooth powder in a silver box. The scariest toothpaste of all dates back to the second world war and is made using a radioactive compound. While nobody would rush to use this now, it was believed at the time that the radiation would revive your gums. He has red wine toothpaste, amaretto flavored paste, there are celebrity toothpaste tubes that have featured on TV and movie sets. Dr. Val Kolpakov started collecting after he had heard of a German dentist who had collected 500 different types of toothpaste. About a quarter of the world record collection that was started in 2002 by Dr. Val Kolpakov is on display in his dental practice in Saginaw. Your Toothpaste Doesn’t Have to Break a World Record Of course, there is no need for you to buy three thousand different types of toothpaste. One good toothpaste is all that you will require. The reason that you need to brush your teeth is that each day bacteria form in your mouth and sticks to your teeth. These bacteria can cause plaque to form on the teeth, which in turn will lead to tooth decay. Bacterial plaque also causes gum disease if left to its own devices. So brushing helps to get rid of the plaque-causing bacteria and is therefore very important for your oral health. Dentists recommend that you brush your teeth thoroughly twice a day. You should brush for two minutes at a time, ensuring that you get every part of your teeth including the sides, tops, and backs. The most important thing that you need in your toothpaste is fluoride. This helps to remineralize your teeth and reverse the effects that plaque and reduce the risk of decay. Stannous fluoride provides all of the benefits of regular fluoride toothpaste, however, it also helps with sensitive teeth. There are a number of different types of fluoride available in toothpaste. In some cases, your dentist may recommend high-fluoride toothpaste if you are at a higher risk of tooth decay. You should only use this type of toothpaste if your dentist specifically recommends it. Getting The Best Advice On Your Dental Needs If you are in anyway unsure about the type of toothpaste that you should be using, be sure and speak with your dentist about it while having a check-up. Having a regular dental check-up is vital for your overall oral health. It allows dentists to spot the early warning signs of tooth decay and allows them to do something about it. Plaque can be removed before it becomes a problem, however, once decay has set into your teeth, it may cause considerable discomfort and will require more work doing to it. Prevention is far better than having dental procedures, and that is why your dentist will be happy to provide you with any advice that you need to help you maintain healthy teeth through regular brushing with the right toothpaste.


6020 Southeastern Ave,
Indianapolis, IN 46203

Office Hours

MON - THU:8:00 am-5:00 pm

FRI:8:00 am-2:00 pm

SAT - SUN:Closed