A child’s good dental habit starts at home and it should be continued in day care centers. That is why part of the daily activity in day care is tooth brushing including some lessons on dental care.
Fluorinated toothpaste must be introduced to children when they are already two to three years old. They must brush their teeth twice a day by using only water and toothbrush with soft bristles. They must start visiting the dentist by the time they turned one. Only pea-sized toothpaste must be used by the toddlers together with a soft-bristled toothbrush. The day care provider must supervise the brushing activity of the children to ensure they will not swallow the toothpaste. But if a child does not know how to spit yet, he can use a non-fluorinated one.
Usually, toddlers resist brushing their teeth. It entails a lot of effort for them to practice brushing teeth by themselves or even attempting to assist them. The following are tips to encourage a toddler to brush.
Use electric toothbrush designed with different colors and cartoon characters they like better. Children will enjoy using them, at the same time, are more effective as compared with the standard toothbrush.
The suggested time of tooth brushing is two minutes. To achieve this, let the toddlers sing while brushing or you may use musical timer which is set for two minutes.
You can give incentives to toddlers by giving them colorful stickers after a successful brushing activity.
Be a model in providing care for your teeth as toddlers can see you brush and floss every after meal. You can effortlessly teach them the proper brushing techniques by brushing your teeth with them.
Here are some lessons and activities that you can implement regarding dental health.
In your lesson plan, include topics on proper dental hygiene. Lessons on what food to eat and the benefits of having healthy teeth, and how cavities are developed. The role of dentists and the benefits of a regular visit to a dental clinic are useful topics for the toddlers.
You can read great stories with the characters who love tooth brushing.
You can visit websites of some toothpaste brands to receive free kits on dental health for the children under your care. The kit includes curriculum information, teaching aids, handouts, and dental activities.
Set up a good puppet show which demonstrates a good dental habit. You can put dental items in the show for the children to play as dentists. Dental items could be toothbrush, dental mirrors, white smocks, and many others.
These dental health lessons and activities would encourage children to have healthy dental habits and prevent tooth decay. Do not expect that they can already clean adequately their teeth. They can brush unsupervised when they are reached the age of six or seven years old. Therefore, after every time they practice tooth brushing, you brush them thoroughly as a follow up. With this, they will be independent in learning a good dental habit.