Creative Ways to Encourage Your Children to Brush and Floss

Children are often easily distracted from their daily brushing and flossing and sometimes a little encouragement is merited! Since thorough brushing is not only imperative to keep children’s teeth cavity-free now—but also to establish good life-long habits—we have compiled a few ways to get your kids to brush.


We love songs. Just enough distracting, songs like The Happy Birthday song (sung twice) can help kids learn the proper amount of time to brush, however any 2-minute song is good! So, choose your child’s favorite and play it while they are brushing!

2-Minute Timer

A simple 2-minute kitchen timer will also do the trick when trying to ensure proper brushing time. Most people don’t realize how long 2 minutes really is and the timer will help encourage brushing the whole time.

Star Chart

What kid doesn’t appreciate a good star chart? Simple star stickers (or any fun stickers) can be used to track daily brushing and flossing. Star charts let children show their progress and success with their hygiene routines. Hang the star chart on the mirror or bathroom door to keep it front-and-center.

Reward System

Small rewards after a short period of time are a fun way to motivate children to maintain oral health. Rewards given weekly can teach children the value of doing these daily-habits each day. This can be small amounts of money, extra screen-time, a small toy or other desirable and age-appropriate treat.


Some kids do well when they are able to follow a checklist. Routine helps solidify the good habits necessary for good oral hygiene. Make an easy checklist that includes brushing, flossing, and rinsing. Combine this with other daytime and nighttime tasks such as brushing hair and washing face.

Employ one of these, or another fun or creative ways to connect with your children and educate them on the importance of a strong oral care routine. And if you have any great ideas you would like to share, please feel free to comment below—you may just help another parent!

Dental bonding, also known as a binding compound, is a procedure that applies the application of a resin material of the color of the tooth to the teeth. Bonding is a method used to correct the cosmetic and/or structural defects of a tooth. Dental bonding uses resin material applied to either the back or the front of the teeth. The purpose of the procedure is to restore decayed teeth or for cosmetic changes. Bonding is used to cover natural defects and can correct the appearance of crooked teeth.

Dental Bonding

Dental bonding is a medical procedure that is used to solve cavity problems, and also to repair damaged or chipped teeth. Dentists can also use the procedure to fix and hide teeth that have become discolored. Dental bonding can also be used to close some natural hollow unsightly teeth caused by any form of accident or damage to teeth. Bonding can be used to change or alter the shape of the teeth, and make the teeth more attractive.


Both structural and cosmetic conditions can be relieved by dental bonding. Structural conditions include the repair of decayed teeth, the repair of chipped or cracked teeth, and the protection of exposed roots due to gum recession. Dental bonding can also improve the appearance of discolored teeth, close the spaces between the teeth, give the impression of longer teeth, change the shape of the teeth and provide an alternative to amalgam fillings. For poorly aligned teeth, bonding can provide a more aligned smile.

Process of Dental Bonding

Bonding does not require much prior preparation and anesthesia is not often unnecessary. The dentist begins by selecting a composite resin to match the color of the patient’s natural tooth. The surface of the tooth is rough, and then a conditioned liquid is applied. Roughness allows the resin to adhere properly to the tooth. The resin is then applied to the tooth. The dentist molds and softens the resin to get the desired shape. The dentist then hardens the resin by applying a high-intensity light, either laser or ultraviolet. Once the resin has hardened, the dentist will promote shape and polish the tooth to match the appearance of neighboring teeth. The procedure can take 30 to 60 minutes to complete.

Dental Bonding Benefits

Bonding compound is an alternative to more expensive procedures, such as porcelain veneers, bridges, and crowns. Bonding can be done in a single visit, unlike the veneer, which are personalized and made in a laboratory. The amount of tooth enamel that needs to be removed from the joint is less than that necessary for veneers or crowns. The composite resin expands and contracts with the tooth, avoiding cracks and tooth loss. Contact our  Gilbert, AZ office to get more information on the cost for dental bonding.

Limitations of Bonding

The composite resin has some resistance to stains, but not as resistant to stains as a crown. The bonding material is not as strong as a varnish or a crown, which can cause the chip resin and detach from the teeth. Due to limitations, bonding is often suggested for small cosmetic changes and correction of temporary cosmetic defects.

After the Bonding Procedure

Dental bonding does not require special maintenance. Patients should follow standard oral hygiene practices: brush at least twice a day, floss once a day and schedule regular check-ups and cleanings. Avoiding nail-biting, chewing ice, and using your teeth as an opener to help prevent the resin from splintering.

If you have questions about the look of your teeth or smile, please give us a call today to make your next dental appointment here at Smiles at San Tan Ranch.

On the topic of Dental Caregiving: If you have an aging parent, disabled child,  friend, or spouse who is unable to maintain oral care on their own, you may need to help them keep their mouth clean and/or remind them to brush and floss daily. Depending on their level of ability you may need to do this for them, or provide instruction to their care team. There is so much to be done, and all of this can become quite challenging, even for the most capable caregiver.

Simple tasks such as brushing and flossing need to be adapted for those who are not able to do for themselves. Here are a few things to consider

For those who wear dentures, caregivers should be aware if the loved one is having trouble eating. Often dental issues are the cause, and can the dentures can be adjusted to provide a better fit and allow easier eating and chewing.

Immobility Issues

If you are caring for someone immobile or confined to bed, there are many issues to manage. However, it is important to maintain oral health to avoid bacteria from the mouth causing inhalation and possible pneumonia or other dental issues. Ask your dentist for some tips on how to maintain oral health for people in prone positions. Dental sponges are also available online to help gently swab the mouth with an oral rinse.


You may also need to make and provide transportation and support during regular dental visits. Please let the office know if there is any circumstance we need to be aware of, or if we can help accommodate.

Scheduling and Prioritization

Caregivers often are balancing a long list of both critical and mundane tasks for their loved ones. Dental care, while extremely important, can get de-prioritized. We recommended you set alarm reminders on your phone for morning and night for dental care at home and bundling dental care with other activities (i.e. bathing time, or dressing time), so that the routine is maintained.

Help and Support

There is help and support available for caregivers. If you are caring for an aging adult, check out the American Association on Aging, and if you are caring for a disabled loved one, please look at the Center for Disease Control and Prevention.

You First

On an airplane, you are instructed that in case of emergency, you should put your oxygen mask on first. The reason being you can’t help others in need unless you have what you need first. This is especially true for caregivers who dedicate their days and often nights to manage the care of a loved one. Remember that you need to take time for yourself, eat a balanced diet, get exercise, and of course, maintain a regular health dental care routine to be at your best.

Dental emergencies happen at random and can affect your ability to carry out your daily routine. At O’Gara Dental Care in Reno, we understand that emergencies are uncontrollable, which is why we offer same day emergency appointments. Our Reno, NV office works around busy schedules just like yours,  so that you can receive the dental care you need. We also offer easy payment options in order to expedite your emergency dental care.

A dental emergency service can include any of the following:

  • Fractured or broken tooth
  • Severe toothache
  • Broken filling
  • Unexplained tooth loss
  • Painful, bleeding, or swollen gums

Do not hesitate to call our Reno, NV office if you are experiencing a dental emergency. We are dedicated to providing thorough and immediate care so that you can get back on track.

Most dental emergencies can’t wait – get a same day appointment and get out of pain!