If you want your young child to learn oral hygiene habits from an early age, it’s a good idea to explain everything there is to know about cavities. Making your child aware of what a cavity is and its potential dangers will likely encourage your little one to stay on top of his or her oral health. Here are a few great ways to teach your child about cavities.

Use Simple Terminology

You have to remember that your little one is young and may not yet understand a lot of big words, so it is important to explain things using words that are easy to understand. You can tell your child that a cavity is a hole that forms in a tooth when it isn’t brushed and flossed regularly. You can also explain how this hole will grow bigger and deeper if it isn’t filled by a dentist. Using words like “bugs” and “germs’ when explaining how a cavity forms can keep your child more engaged while receiving the information. Let them know that brushing their teeth is just like washing their hands, because it gets rid of all of the germs.

Use Visuals

Many children learn best with visuals, and you can use pictures and drawings when teaching your child about cavities. You can use funny images of teeth, germs and the cavities themselves to illustrate your points. You may even be able to find books for sale that include entertaining stories about cavities along with colorful pictures. A dentist, such as one from Schererville Family Dentistry, who is used to working with children can also offer ideas on how to use visuals to educate your little one. Another great way to demonstrate to your child the importance of brushing his or her teeth is by having them chew on red-cote tablets after they brush their teeth. This will allow them to see the areas that they have missed while brushing and show them where the germs still are. Although this is a great learning activity, children love it—especially because they get to temporarily dye their teeth!

Make a Game of It

Another great way to teach your youngster about cavities is by using games. Certain online games allow children to play dentist and fix cavities and further emphasize the importance of proper oral care. You can also find versions of bingo and tic-tac-toe that include information about cavity prevention within the game. Care.com lists several games that you can play with your child as well. Other activities could be as simple as having your child brush their doll’s or action figure’s teeth.

Encourage Your Child to Explain Information Back to You

After you have informed your child of what a cavity is and how to prevent this dental problem, you should ask him or her to explain what was learned to you so that you can make sure that all the important details were covered. If any information was missed or your child has questions, you’ll be able to provide additional information that might make your points clearer.

Teaching your child about cavities may prevent dental problems from happening and help your son or daughter develop a healthy smile for life. With the use of age-appropriate activities and explanations, your child can easily learn about the dangers of cavities.