Happy Children’s Dental Health Month! It’s a new year, and there is no better time than now to brush up on oral hygiene practices for you and your little one(s). As parents, we know there is nothing you wouldn’t do for your children, and taking care of their mouths is a great place to start.
To celebrate Children’s Dental Health Month, here are a few resources you may find helpful in teaching your little one how to gain and maintain optimal oral health.
1. YouTube Videos
Screen time is a hot topic in parenting circles today. Regardless of how you feel about it, it’s very likely that your child spends some time in front of a screen throughout the day. During Children’s Dental Health Month, introduce your little one to videos that teach about the mouth, oral hygiene, and more!
Here are some of our favorite oral health and hygiene videos on YouTube:
- Why do we brush our teeth? explains the “why” behind toothbrushing so it no longer feels like a meaningless task!
- Teeth: Not Just for Smiles discusses the different types of teeth in our mouths, what they are used for, and how human teeth are different from animal teeth.
- Why do we have baby teeth? talks about losing baby teeth, why we have baby teeth, and the different ways we use them. This may be helpful for parents, too!
- What causes cavities? This video, by TedEd, is packed with information about poor oral health and how to achieve optimal oral health with daily brushing, a balanced diet, and other helpful tips.
- How to Brush Your Teeth Properly is a practical and fun video that teaches kids the simple steps to brushing their teeth in the most effective way.
2. Oral Health and Oral Hygiene Activities
Looking for more interactive ways to teach your children about oral health and hygiene? We’ve got you covered! Below are books, coloring pages, and word puzzles to peak your child’s interest.
These books are a great place to start teaching your child about oral health, oral hygiene, dental development, visiting the dentist, and more.
- “Brush, Brush, Brush!” by Alicia Padron
- “The Tooth Book” by Dr. Seuss
- “The Berenstain Bears Visit the Dentist” by Stan and Jan Berenstain
- “Sugarbug Doug: All About Cavities, Plaque, and Teeth” by Dr. Ben Magleby
- “My First Visit to the Dentist” by Eve Marleau
- “Why Should I Brush My Teeth?” by Katie Daynes
A simple Google search of “oral health coloring pages” will help you find hundreds of tooth-related coloring pages for your child. Here are some of our favorites:
- ADA Coloring Sheet
- Are Your Teeth Happy or Sad?
- Mermaid with Toothbrush
- Brush + Floss = Great Smile
- At the Dentist
Instead of coloring pages, older children may enjoy crossword puzzles, word searches, and other types of challenging word games to learn about the importance of oral health.
3. Facts & Statistics
Learning about children’s oral health facts and statistics can be beneficial for you and your little one. If your child is too young, these may go over his head. However, reviewing these facts can help you determine how to best help your child achieve and maintain optimal oral health, and it can show your child just how important dental hygiene is.
To turn this into an educational activity, have your child research “children’s oral health statistics” and find five to ten surprising statistics or facts about children’s oral health in the United States. He or she can make a list, create a slideshow, or create an infographic with the findings.
4. Discussion Ideas
The dinner table is a great place to discuss oral hygiene during Children’s Dental Health Month. After your child has watched some videos, read a book or two, or completed an activity, resolve to discuss what they’ve learned at the dinner table.
Here are a few questions you can ask to get the conversation started:
- What are some things you can do to keep your mouth healthy?
- Why do we brush and floss?
- What foods and drinks improve your oral health?
- Why do baby teeth fall out?
- What type of teeth are in our mouths?
- Which video or book did you like the best?
- What was one interesting fact you learned about children’s oral health?
Schedule your child’s dental cleaning and exam appointment! If your little one is over one year old, he or she should be visiting the dentist at least every six months. Visit our dental office to start building that relationship and guiding your little one toward optimal oral health.