Teaching your child good brushing habits at a young age is imperative for helping them develop excellent oral health. It may seem impossible to brush your child’s teeth, especially when they are young, but with practice and routine, it will soon become less daunting. Children learn by example and watching as you do, so show them the importance of brushing and flossing your teeth for a healthy, bright smile! Learn below how to teach your child good oral habits to last a lifetime.
Set A Positive Example
As mentioned above, children learn by watching their parents and are constantly learning how to take care of themselves from a young age. If they observe you brushing and flossing your teeth, they can be more inclined to want to do so themselves. While children are very young (prior to school-age), it is recommended to directly manage their oral health with their caretaker brushing and flossing for them since children do not yet have the dexterity to do so themselves. Children may want to brush independently, so as an alternative, you can offer to take turns with you to ensure the teeth are properly cleaned. Brush with them twice daily and make it a fun family time they will look forward to. Discussing the timing of when to allow your child a more independent approach with their oral hygiene routine (brushing and flossing on their own) is a conversation welcomed with your pediatric dentist.
Use The Right Toothbrush and Toothpaste
Sometimes, a certain style of toothbrush or toothpaste may not be the right fit for your child. As recommended by the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry, brushing with fluoridated toothpaste twice daily is one of the most effective ways in reducing the chance of dental caries in children. For children age 3 and less who are unable to spit, a rice or smear-sized amount of fluoridated toothpaste is appropriate. For children ages 3 to 6, a pea-sized amount is sufficient. Inspire and excite your child to brush by selecting a flavored fluoridated toothpaste that interests them. The same sentiment rings true regarding toothbrushes too; a soft bristle toothbrush with favorite colors or cartoon characters is an excellent choice. Allowing them to pick out their own toothbrush with a design they love will make their brushing time even more fun!
Explain and Positively Encourage Your Child
Sometimes your child may need encouragement or an explanation for why they are doing something. As you brush your teeth together, explain the importance of why you are doing it and how it keeps your mouth healthy and sparkling. Teach them that it removes plaque, germs and left behind food particles that could cause cavities. Remind them that teeth should be brushed for 2 minutes twice a day, and be sure to gently get all areas (top, bottom, back) of your mouth and tongue. Discuss the importance of flossing as well since the bristles of toothbrushes are not able to reach the areas in between the teeth. If you find yourself stuck with how to continue to foster a positive attitude for your child’s oral health, please feel comfortable to discuss this with your pediatric dentist at your child’s routine cleaning appointment.
Pediatric Dental Care At Lindner Dental Associates in Bedford, NH
For gentle and attentive pediatric dental services, contact Lindner Dental Associates. We know how important it is to establish healthy habits your child’s oral health at a young age and are committed to helping them become comfortable at the dentist. Oral health impacts the overall health of both young children and adults. Setting up good oral habits early on will allow them to remain healthy and less afraid of going to the dentist. To schedule your child’s first dental appointment or make a recurring appointment, call our office at 603-624-3900.