Dental Problems

Activities for Oral Hygiene for Children

Dietary-FluorideParents need to teach their kids about how to brush and floss their teeth and rinse their mouth as it is very important in order to prevent caries and to keep the teeth clean. Oral hygiene is the important contributor for the overall health. Parents can teach these basic things using activities for their kids. Teaching them at the earliest when kids are young helps to prevent dental problems in future. According to the American Dental Association, about 28% of 2-5 year old kids have dental caries or tooth decay, but with good oral hygiene they can be prevented. By including activities for oral hygiene for children it will be helpful for you to make your kid learn good oral hygiene habits and to know their importance.

Activities for oral hygiene for children

The following are the oral hygiene activities for kids which will be very useful.

      • Activity for teaching brushing

        Begin to teach brushing in infancy and follow it after every meal. Children can be conditioned in similar way to brush the teeth as they are taught to wash the face and hands. Invent your own chant to sing or memorable little song as you are brushing your toddler’s teeth. Ensure that the words define the part you are scrubbing. So first brush your toddlers teeth, and then while you are brushing your teeth give the brush to your kid as they love to imitate what they see.

    • Tooth decay activity

      Take pictures of your child while smiling, showing their shiny white teeth. Use brown and black washable markers and color the teeth in one of the pictures. Hang them in areas like washrooms or near the washbasins (to make your kid remember that he/she need to brush after every meal).

  • Tooth decay experiment

    Parents can do this tooth decay experiment when their kids milky or temporary or baby teeth fall off. Use them in your experiment while showing the adverse effects of different beverages. Soak the teeth in coffee, water and soda pop, after one week remove the teeth. Ask your child to compare the results with the teeth inside the mouth. This experiment helps your kids to understand well about the effects of foods and beverages. You can later brush the teeth and show that brushing helps to remove these effects often. You can conclude by showing the importance of brushing the teeth after every meal.

  • Egg activity

    Boil an egg and show a hard boiled egg and ask the child about the shell purpose. Discuss with your child about how the shell of an egg protects the inner part of the egg and then compare it with the shell (tooth enamel) of the tooth. In a jar, add vinegar and place this hard boiled egg along with the shell and ask your kid what she/he thinks would happen to that egg. Leave the jar for a couple of days and then remove the egg. Ask your kid to observe the change as the shell becomes soft and destroyed partially. Explain to your kid that the same thing could happen if their teeth are not cleaned properly or if they do not maintain a hygienic condition. This activity helps your kid to understand the importance of oral hygiene of teeth (brushing and flossing and gargling).

 

  • Painting activity

    Cut out some large tooth shapes using the yellow construction paper. Show the tooth shapes to your kids and discuss how teeth can turn yellow if they are not cleaned properly by proper brushing and flossing or if they eat lot of tooth harming foods. Give your kids white paint and ask them to pretend as if it is toothpaste and use it. Allow them to use the paintbrush and white paint (toothpaste) to make the tooth white again. Explain to them that, in a similar way, brushing teeth with toothpaste and flossing habits (following oral hygiene habits regularly) help to remove debris and microbes from the teeth and gums and also to maintain healthy teeth.

  • Apple activity

    Take an apple and show it to your kid and ask him/her to consider it as a tooth. Poke a hole on the apple using a stick. Tell her/him that the hole on the apple is like cavity on the tooth which forms due to improper oral hygiene and poor dental health. Place the apple on the spot such that it can be easily seen for a few (2 or 3) days. Later, after a few days, tell your kid to observe the changes on the apple. Discuss how the apple hole has turned brown and how it is no longer good. Explain how your kid can avoid this on his/her teeth by following proper brushing and flossing habits along with a good and healthy diet.

  • Dramatic play

    One can gather all those materials that are necessary to create an environment which looks like a dentist’s office. You may need a white coat or shirt, toothbrush, a chair, mirror and other dentistry materials which make the environment more fun and realistic. Lie back on the chair and allow your kid to pretend as a dentist as he/she examines your mouth and also pretends to brush and tells you about your teeth health. Acting on this scenario might help your kid to understand about the importance of visiting the dentist’s office.

These are some of the activities for oral hygiene for children. One can also try different activities to make your kids understand the importance of maintaining good oral hygiene. Ensure that your kids learn proper brushing and flossing habits at the early stage. Kids who learn good habits at an early stage tend to maintain them through out their life.

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