Share a giggle, create good habits.

If your toddler refuses to brush her teeth, plenty of Smartphone apps (even a free Disney Magic Timer) exist, but good old fashioned fun can also work to your advantage according to Australian Women’s Weekly.

A few suggestions they offer:

  • Promise her a song or a story while you brush.
  • Tell her she can brush your teeth for you first – if she’ll let you do hers afterward.

  • Let her choose her own toothbrush – colourful or crazy novelty brushes work just as well and can make brushing much more fun when you’re a toddler. There are even some that play tunes as you brush.
  • Sit her in front of a mirror and have a giggle together over the funny faces she’s making.

Read more about how to care for toddler teeth: http://www.mouthhealthy.org/en/babies-and-kids

Health blogger Julie Bissett offers another low-tech life skill to keep kids on the right track to oral health: putting pen to paper in a journal.

Dental hygienist and therapist Melonie Prebble shares with the health blogger why she encourages her patients to keep a diary of the foods they eat.

She says: ‘A food diary helps us offer tailored advice with halitosis (bad breath), for example, and is also the perfect resource to help guide parents to better health with dietary advice. I can immediately identify habits and suggest changes such as a reduction in frequency and/or amount of consumption of sugars. I can also see if patients are eating sugars at high-risk times of the day, such as within one hour of bedtime, when the caries protective effects of saliva are reduced.

‘By writing down everything you – or your child – eat or drink and the time during the day when consumed, it helps us help patients to manage their dental health. Patients can then adjust habits and return with the diet diary to their next appointment to tally the changes with results.’

She notes that a diary may help track the causes of tooth erosion and tooth clenching  (in the case of bruxism) by illustrating “day-to-day stress triggers.”

Learn four more health benefits you can gain from keeping a diary at: http://patient.info/wellbeing/health/five-reasons-why-writing-a-diary-is-good-for-your-health

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