It’s hard enough to get kids to put their clothes on, let alone brush their teeth. But believe it or not, you can make the experience manageable and even FUN (who knew?)
Establishing a good dental hygiene routine begins when kids are young and when parents have the opportunity to encourage habits for healthy teeth. Not only did your parents want you to have fresh breath, but more importantly, they wanted to make sure your teeth and gums were well taken care. If you don’t learn how to take care of your teeth when you are young, poor dental health can follow you for the rest of your life.
Here are some practical tips you can implement with your kids (or grandkids) next time they are brushing:
- Use the two-minute trick and let loose a little. Set a timer on your watch or Iphone or listen to an upbeat, kid friendly song and make it FUN rather than a dreaded chore.
- Let them pick out the toothbrush and toothpaste. Toothbrushes come in all sorts and sizes so picking the toothbrush that fits a kid’s needs is important. Often when shopping, you can find a toothbrush with a character or particular theme on it that might encourage your child to brush their teeth. Mint flavored toothpastes can often be too strong for children, so try looking for fruit or mild flavors that still include the essential ingredients.
- Brush your teeth at the same time your child does. Children, especially those of a younger age, tend to want to follow and repeat what their parents do. Brush your teeth when they do and remind them that brushing your teeth is an important part of daily hygiene. Show them HOW to brush and check to make sure they are using the right technique to reach their teeth!
- Use small flossing picks. It can be hard for children to wrap their fingers around normal dental floss, so the small floss pickers can make the job that little bit easier.
- Establish a routine and pattern for brushing, so it becomes habitual and expected. Kids tend to feel less anxious when they know what to expect. Try incorporating brushing into a routine and stick to the same order. That way, brushing is never a surprise.
As always, getting your child to the dentist by a young age—and every 6 months after– is necessary for preventing dental issues. And we’d love to be here for you if you’re looking for a dental family.