We all know that when it comes to children brushing their teeth it can be strenuous. Brushing your teeth is almost seen as a chore when you’re a child, but there are certain things you can do to ensure your child brushes their teeth but also has a bit of fun whilst doing it!
Use Oral Care products that are designed for kids
There are many different types of oral care products designed specifically for children and with their gimmicky nature, kids are more inclined to use them for example with a toothpaste with cartoon characters on or a fun figurine for a toothbrush it won’t seem clinical or scary for children.
Also, children’s toothpaste also has a slightly different taste to adult toothpaste it is slightly sweeter and better suited for cleaning milk teeth. Children’s toothbrushes are also smaller and softer than the average toothbrush to suit children’s smaller mouths and to get around the small baby teeth.
Children will also be more excited to brush their teeth if they have picked out their own toothbrush.
Introduce a Daily Routine
Brushing your teeth is a daily habit (well, a twice-daily habit) and getting into a habit takes a while. However, when it comes to brushing your teeth this habit should start early on. A daily habit is formed by doing the job repeatedly. Brushing your teeth is done twice daily and needs to be established in the morning and night time routines.
Twice Daily Brushing
One useful step to get your children into brushing their teeth is brushing yours with them; once they see their parents brushing they are more likely to brush their teeth correctly as they will be learning from you. Adults should be involved with their child’s teeth brushing until they are 7 or 8 years old to ensure they are doing it correctly and not swallowing the toothpaste. It is also important to teach them how to rinse their mouths as they are likely to swallow instead of spit.
The amount of toothpaste will depend on their age and how many teeth they have; babies and toddlers should have a tiny amount as they are more likely to swallow it. Older children with full sets of baby teeth will need to use a pea size amount, and teenagers with adult teeth use the full amount.
Make sure they are brushing for a full 2 minutes, a fun looking timer can help with this process as 2 minutes might seem like a lifetime with children.
If your baby doesn’t have any teeth yet but is starting to eat, wipe their gums with a soft wet cloth when they are in the bath. As soon as one tooth erupts you should start to use a toothbrush and toothpaste to clean it.
Children and adults must floss at least once a day. However, teaching children to floss is extremely important. Make sure they don’t use too much pressure; they should gently slide the floss between teeth but ensure plaque isn’t just moved around.
Teach them why it’s important to brush
Teaching children why it is important to brush their teeth will encourage them to maintain good oral health. This should just be a gentle reminder of how important it is to brush; there are many cartoon videos online to ensure they aren’t too scared and it might be worth waiting until they are old enough to understand the different risks to teeth.
Visit the dentist every 6 months
Make sure as soon as your child gets their first tooth that you book an appointment at your dental practice, not only will you be ensuring your baby’s oral health but will be getting them used to the environment of the dentist from a young age.
During the visit you can expect:
• Oral inspection for cavities or other problems
• The dentist will let you know if your child is at risk of developing tooth decay
• Clean your child’s teeth
• Don’t bribe your child with treats for brushing their teeth as this will cause an unhealthy habit
• Don’t use the dentist as a punishment as this is where a fear of the dentist can stem from.