We all know how important it is to brush your children’s teeth. Tooth decay can occur very early if we don’t. However we also know it isn’t always that easy to get your kids to brush regularly and correctly. Therefore we offer some of our top tips to make brushing your children’s teeth a piece of cake.
When your child gets their first tooth, it is time to start the healthy habit of brushing their teeth. Starting as early as possible, not only helps prevent tooth decay, it also helps to make children comfortable with the sensation of having something in their mouth. The less fear and discomfort you can create in the beginning the easier it will be as they grow older.
Make It Fun
Positive attitudes = positive outcome. Create an element of fun around brushing your children’s teeth. Make up a silly song and sing it as you brush your child’s teeth, or as they brush their own. Encourage them to join in. Perhaps play some videos of characters they like brushing their teeth whilst they do the same. Anything you can do that will make it fun for the both of you will help make brushing your children’s teeth a positive experience. Which leads to the next tip…
Go Toothbrush Shopping
Encourage your child to pick their own suitable toothbrush at the store. There are a mountain of fun toothbrush designs to choose from these days, including their favourite cartoon character to funny shapes. There are also toothbrushes with suction cups that you can stick to the bathroom mirror. Also, it’s a good idea to invest in a stool for children so they can get a better view in the mirror to see what they are doing. Again, plenty of fun child friendly options available online. Once children get past the age of five and still hate brushing, it gets harder to encourage them. These days there are toothbrushes that connect with games and apps that seem to do the trick to encourage brushing!
Lead By Example
As you know, children love to imitate ‘grown ups’. Therefore it is a great idea to let your children watch you brush your teeth and as they grow older encourage them to brush with you. Standing in front of a mirror (that they can reach) is great to show them what you’re doing and allows them to copy your movements. It is also a good idea to stick to a routine. Brushing with them morning and night to get them into that healthy habit from early on.
Include Their Teddy/Stuffed Animal
If your child is struggling to let you brush their child’s teeth, it might be an idea to introduce brushing their favourite teddy’s/stuffed animal’s ‘teeth’ too. Not only will this make it more fun for your child it also acts as a good distraction, as they brush Teddy’s teeth, you can brush theirs.
Reward Their Good Behaviour
As we know, reward systems at school or with chores, can work wonders with children. It is no different when it comes to brushing children’s teeth. What was your favourite part of going to the dentist as a child? The stickers! Why not introduce some stickers at home after brushing? Or maybe start a star reward system, one star for each day of good brushing and after 5 stars a treat that weekend. Whatever reward works best for you and motivates your child to brush for those two minutes, twice a day.
If we are being honest, flossing is a task that a lot of adults struggle to do regularly. Whether that’s because of time constraints, discomfort, or not enough knowledge about its benefits. Regardless, it’s good to establish flossing at a young age for children in order to create healthy oral habits early on that they will hopefully continue throughout their lives. Just like toothbrushes there are also fun flossers to encourage kids to get flossing. It is obviously essential to be delicate and take care when flossing your child’s teeth. When to start flossing I hear you ask. Once a child’s teeth start to fit closely together, usually between the ages of two and six. If you’re unsure about how to approach flossing our pediatric dentists are more than happy to give you any advice you need.
Need More Help?
Contact us to schedule an appointment with our experienced pediatric dentists today. Appointments are not only for check ups, they’re also for any help and any questions you might have regarding your child’s oral health. Getting it right isn’t always easy and that’s why we are here to help. Choose the experts for your children’s teeth, Eastlake Pediatric Dentistry and Orthodontics.