Did you know that you should start cleaning your child’s teeth as soon as they emerge? According to the American Dental Association, it can never be too early to care for your child’s teeth because baby teeth do matter.
Child toothbrushing is very important, especially when it comes to avoiding tooth decay. With the right tips, you can get your child used to the idea of cleaning their teeth from a very early age.
While teaching your child this important life skill can be a battle, being creative with your training methods can go a long way. Here are a few tips that can help you make flossing and brushing your child’s fun activity.
A good toothbrushing routine should start even before your child’s first tooth arrives. Dentists recommend that parents should take a damp piece of cloth or gauze and wipe the child’s gums with it to promote good oral hygiene.
You can then shift to a very soft toothbrush when the child is around six months of age. This will allow them to get used to the idea of brushing their teeth early enough. This is also a good way of preventing cavities in toddlers.
Set a Good Example
Your child is constantly watching how you act or behave so that they can imitate you. Children also tend to notice every little thing that their role models do. They watch their parents constantly, and they learn good and bad behaviors by watching, listening, and imitating.
They will do the same when it comes to brushing their teeth and flossing. If your child sees you flossing or brushing your teeth regularly, they will want to be like you. Therefore, you will have an easy time when training them to brush their teeth.
Get the Right Tools
Children’s toothbrushes come in various colors, shapes, sizes, and some also have different cartoon characters printed on them. Get your child a toothbrush in their favorite color or cartoon character.
Rather than having them use the same toothpaste that you use, pick a flavored kids toothpaste for your child. If possible, allow them to accompany you to the store to pick their toothbrush and toothpaste.
This will add to the excitement of brushing their teeth. They will look forward to brushing their teeth with what they have picked out. When shopping, remember to pick a toothbrush with soft bristles and buy toothpaste with fluoride.
Make Child Toothbrushing Time Fun
Dentists recommend that one should brush their teeth twice a day for at least two minutes each time. This routine may seem too long for your child. To make sure that your child maintains this proper routine, you should make brushing and flossing time fun for them.
To do this, you should:
- Have them brush their teeth in front of a mirror
- Get a colorful timer and set it for them as they brush
- Play their favorite song or a catchy song about the benefits of brushing and flossing
Coming up with a fun-filled routine will help engage your child, and they will enjoy brushing teeth appropriately. Using the mirror will help them perfect their brushing or flossing technique and encourage them to brush longer.
Make It a Family Affair
If possible, try to make brushing time a family activity. This will allow them to see how to brush their teeth and imitate the same technique. Children also love it when their parents join them for some activity.
Brushing your teeth together as a family as you dance to their brushing time music will make it fun for them, and you will be surprised if they remind you that it is time to brush your teeth.
Track Their Progress and Reward Them
Your child will be happier when you notice and appreciate their effort. Make a flossing and brushing chart and use it to track their progress. You can post this chart somewhere where they can see it so that they can be determined to check each box.
You may also want to set up some non-monetary rewards to motivate them to brush their teeth. The reward might be a simple high five or anything else that motivates them. You can allow them to pick up a bedtime story or get them a preppy sticker for successfully brushing their teeth well for a specified duration.
Never forget to praise your child every day when they brush their teeth.
Stick to the Routine
It can be tempting to let your child skip their bedtime brushing routine, especially after a long day or when on vacation. Your child needs to know that nothing should get in the way of brushing their teeth or flossing.
Remember, if you allow them to skip, it will be a challenge to get them to brush their teeth when they feel tired.
Tell Them a Story
Children will easily believe that Santa Claus, the tooth fairy, and the Easter bunny exists but might find it hard to believe that Hitler existed if the story is not told right.
Instead of trying to convince that plague or cavities exist, tell them a story about some little animals that hide in their teeth, and the only way to get rid of these animals is to brush their teeth well as recommended.
Such relatable stories will get even the most reluctant brushers to get up and brush their teeth. It would help if you also tried to read them age-appropriate books on the importance of taking care of their teeth.
This is also the best way to start introducing the idea of seeing a dentist to them to be prepared for their first appointment with a good pediatric dentist.
Use These Child Toothbrushing Tips to Get Your Child to Brush Their Teeth
Making brushing fun for your child will help them stop thinking of it as a chore. With these tips, child toothbrushing will no longer be an uphill task. Your child will enjoy brushing and flossing their teeth, and this means good oral hygiene.
If you are looking for a fun, patient, and experienced pediatric dentist for your child, you can be sure to get that with us. Here at Elizabethtown Dentistry for Children, we will offer your child anxiety-free dental care.
Please feel free to call us today. We will be happy to meet you and your child.