Fun Children’s Oral Health Facts & Tips for Parents
By: General Dentist Hassan Alshehabi
February is Children’s Dental Health Month, making it a great time to talk to our kids about what great oral hygiene means in a way that is fun, exciting, and interesting to them.
Part of seeing pediatric patients is making sure I am relaying information for the parents to understand and take home but more importantly helping to educate kiddos on what it means to practice great oral hygiene.
As part of Children’s Dental Health Month, here are some tips parents can use to get their kids thinking about oral hygiene differently, and some fun facts to share with kids (or adults) to keep teeth interesting.
Kid’s Oral Health Tips for Parents
- Brush your Teeth Together. Leading by example goes a long way. Make brushing teeth together in the morning and nighttime part of your routine. This encourages your child to look forward to brushing with you, and they get to be like one of their favorite people!
- Incentivize Brushing with Rewards. If your child is reluctant to brush, you may be able to offer a reward that encourages brushing, some families even find success when using a star chart or other reward system.
- Set a Timer. A two-minute timer will help your child know when they can stop brushing and keep them accountable. You can also challenge your child to see if they can brush for the whole two minutes without stopping.
- Tasty Flavors + Fun Dental Products. A lot of kids respond well to toothbrushes with their favorite character on it, or flavored toothpaste or mouthwashes. It can help make toothbrushing something fun and exciting to look forward to.
Fun Facts for Kids to Sink Their Teeth Into
Did You Know?
- Kids laugh around 400 times a day, adults just 15 times a day.
- Kids in prehistoric times likely did not suffer from tooth decay. The American Dental Association says this is because sugar was not a part of their diet.
- Tooth enamel is the strongest substance in the human body; because it's so durable, healthy tooth enamel protects teeth from cavity-causing oral bacteria.
- The modern toothbrush was not developed until the 1700s.
- Egyptians even brushed their teeth using a powdery substance made from crushed eggshells and oxen hooves. Using these ingredients in powder form and mixing with water formed an abrasive that may have been an effective means of removing remnants left by food.
- The most valuable tooth belonged to Sir Isaac Newton. In 1816 one of his teeth was sold in London for $3,633, or in today's terms $35,700. The tooth was set in a ring!
Share a few of these facts with your child the next time they brush and make brushing together more enjoyable. They'll really impress their teachers in class the next day!