Raising kids is as much about preparing them for the big things in life as it is the small, daily things. A kid with positive, effective tooth brushing habits will be that much closer to a life of clean, healthy teeth! Keep your kids’ smiles bright and white by teaching kids to brush their teeth the right way, as recommended by your family dentist.
Start teaching kids to brush early
There’s no reason to wait! Get your child comfortable with pediatric dentistry and tooth brushing when they are very young. An early start to good oral hygiene gives them a solid foundation for a healthy mouth. When’s the right time to start? You don’t even have to wait for that first tooth to show up! Infants can benefit from a gentle wipe of their gums after every feeding, but remember, no teeth means no toothpaste. Once that first tooth shows up, it’s time to get the twice daily tooth brushing routine set in stone. Don’t let your children be a part of the 40% of kids who start kindergarten with cavities.
Make it fun
The best way to set your child up for a lifetime of healthy teeth is by making it a fun part of their day. Teach them to connect oral hygiene with fun, and try your best not to make it a chore or punishment. How can you make such a dull and repetitive task fun? Kids make it easy! Reward them each time they brush correctly with something small, like an extra five minutes before bedtime or a sticker. Give them some ownership by allowing them to choose their own toothbrush and toothpaste that’s personalized for what they like. Don’t keep it to the flavor you like, but allow them to choose between mint and bubblegum flavors and choose their favorite character toothbrush, as long as it’s an ADA (American Dental Association) approved product.
The two minute times two rule
Kids should brush their teeth for two minutes, twice a day. Keep the time straight by choosing a song to play that lasts two minutes or buy an automatic toothbrush that only shuts off after a full two-minute cycle. Try to hold to this full time period as often as possible, so that it becomes second nature as they grow older to devote two minutes, two times a day to their teeth.
Walk the Walk
Remember that your kids learn from what you say but also from what you do! You can talk to them until you’re blue in the face, but if you’re not holding yourself to the same standards, they won’t place a lot of value in their own oral hygiene. Walking the walk also keeps your own smile strong and healthy! Teaching kids to brush works through a good reward system, but also through showing them that you do it yourself.
Sticking to these tips teaches kids that oral hygiene isn’t only important, but also enjoyable. Start them off early and teach them to do it right, they’ll be sure to thank you for it as they age into their beautiful smiles. Bring your child in to our board certified pediatric dentist in white plains, NY today to get them started on the right path to healthy dental care.