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Even The Tooth Fairy Is Pinching Pennies

dentistIt has been a tough couple of months for kids and their teeth. For one, an August 20 USA Today article reports that the tooth fairy just can’t afford that much, with children receiving an average of only $3.40 per tooth! Personal Finance Expert Jason Alderman puts it bluntly: “The tooth fairy has had her wings clipped.” Adults may laugh, but there is a valid concern hidden in this story. Children must be proactive about cleaning and maintaining their teeth, even if the rewards from the tooth fairy are markedly lower. Here are some ways you can boost your children’s enthusiasm for brushing and flossing.

Get Them A Cool Toothbrush
All of us can remember wanting a flashy toothbrush as a child. Maybe it was shaped like a Disney princess or a Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle, but — either way — it looked more like a toy than a toothbrush. And, of course, it was a massive, hand-held battery-operated contraption that would whirl away at your teeth, so you didn’t even have to put that much effort into brushing.

These toothbrushes may seem like an extravagance to parents, but when it comes to your child’s dental health, family dentists agree that it is well-worth the expense. These dental devices are much more likely to get your children excited about brushing, especially when compared to a standard toothbrush with a plastic handle and nylon bristles. (These aren’t really anything to talk about. In fact, they haven’t changed much since their introduction in 1938!) On average, a tooth brush will contain 25,000 bristles in approximately 40 groupings or tufts. It does not matter how many bristles and tufts your child’s toothbrush has; what matters is keeping brushing interesting, and a talking SpongeBob toothbrush may very well be the key to doing it.

As Always, There Is An App For That
Regular brushing and flossing is a plus, but just brushing and flossing isn’t going to cut it. Carefully look into family dental care. One of the biggest hurdles here may be children’s feelings toward the dentist. Fear of the dentist, called odontophobia, is not uncommon, and even some adults envision the worst of sedation and implant dentistry as the reality of a typical visit. New interactive applications for iPads, tablets, and smartphones allow your child to play dentist-related games and will help address and stave off fears of the dentist.

When it comes to your children, proper dental and oral hygiene is absolutely critical. Teach kids good habits while they are still young.