Good oral hygiene has to start early. You need to teach your kids how to brush their teeth when teeth first begin to appear. You also need to reiterate healthy habits as they grow to keep teeth in their best condition.
Helping your kids develop healthy oral hygiene starts as soon as their teeth develop. Use these tips to encourage healthy habits in order to keep their teeth in the best condition as they grow.
- Let them play with the toothbrush. While in the tub, let your child chew on a brush. This gets them used to the look and feel of it. The chewing motion can also massage the gyms and erupting teeth.
- Use the “Tell-Show-Do technique.” First, tell your child how to properly brush. Second, show them how it’s done on a doll or stuffed animal. Third, have your child brush their own teeth with help from a parent.
- Never assume a child brushes well on their own. Parents should help their preschoolers brush their teeth. As kids get older, their oral health habits may get worse. Make sure they’re brushing twice a day for at least two minutes each time.
- Let them pick out their own toothbrush. If they like it, they will use it more. Parents should help pick out a soft-bristled toothbrush designed for an infant or child’s teeth.
- Don’t forget the toothpaste. Your child can pick their toothpaste, too, but make sure it contains fluoride, which can help prevent tooth decay. Use a small smear or rice-sized amount of fluoridated toothpaste for children under 3 years old. For those aged 3 to 6 years, use no more than a pea-sized amount of fluoridated toothpaste.
- Play games. Make it fun and reward your child for good teeth brushing.
- Blast tunes. Put on your child’s favorite song. They should brush the entire length of it.
- Find a “dental home.” Parents are encouraged to find a pediatric dentist by age 1. At your child’s first appointment, a pediatric dentist will determine whether their teeth are developing normally and if there are any dental problems. Most importantly, the pediatric dentist will provide parents with education with how to prevent dental decay.