Learning how to properly take care of one’s oral health at a young age is necessary to having good oral health. Proper brushing habits instilled at an early age can prevent future cavities, gum disease bad breath and more. As a parent of a young child, there are some things you can do to make sure that teeth brushing is an enjoyable activity for your child.
You can start developing a routine by cleaning your child’s gums even before his or her teeth begin to emerge. This can be done by gently washing the gumline with a sterile, soft and damp cloth or a gum massager or brusher specifically designed for the task. You can begin brushing as soon as the first tooth appears using a soft bristled toothbrush and the tiniest amount of fluoride toothpaste after each feeding.
Show Them by Example
Giving children a demonstration of proper brushing technique can help them learn how to brush their teeth properly. You can do this using your teeth, or to make it a little more fun, perform the proper brushing technique on your child’s favorite doll to encourage them to do the same for their teeth. You can pretend that the doll is visiting the dentist for the first time, and in your role of a dentist, evaluate its teeth and talk about how to brush teeth properly. You can give your child the opportunity to be the dentist and remind him or her about cleaning both the front and the back of the doll’s teeth.
Finding Plaque with Disclosing Tablets
Not brushing their teeth thoroughly enough is one of the misstep children often make. To show them how brushing properly is what is needed to keep their teeth clean, you may consider buying plaque disclosing tablets. When chewed and mixed with their saliva for 30 seconds, the plaque that is present on the teeth and gumline will be turned red. Making the plaque easily visible will encourage them to work harder at removing it.
Let Your Child Choose a Toothbrush
To continue using bristles that scrub as they should and to avoid the accumulation of bacteria in the brush, it is wise to change your toothbrush as least every three months. To highlight the importance of a new toothbrush and to make the oral routine more fun, you can allow the child to choose his or her toothbrush. Many are geared specifically to children.
Reward Proper Brushing Time
The American Dental Association recommends teeth are to be gently brushed for two full minutes. Being eager to have the task over with, children may brush very quickly and hard for several seconds instead. To make sure that you child is brushing long enough, establish a reward system to give him or her an incentive.
Children who are taught a new skill at an early age are very likely to use it in adulthood. Make sure that your child learns the proper tooth brushing habits that will ensure that he or she always has long-term oral health.