Brushing your teeth can feel like a chore at times, but if you have kids, it’s important to lead by example when it comes to good dental health.
Whether you have toddlers or teenagers, there are lots of things you can do to teach your kids flossing and brushing habits that will last a lifetime.
Read on to learn more about some helpful techniques that will make toothbrushing time in your household a pleasant experience that transforms into a lifelong healthy habit.
It’s important to give your kids a healthy start, so keep in mind that good oral hygiene begins as soon as possible. You can begin by cleaning your infant’s mouth after they eat their meals.
Cradle your little one’s head using one hand, and then use your free hand to wipe their mouth clean using a wet gauze or soft cloth. Continue this process as often as possible to ensure good dental health at a very early age.
Once your baby’s first tooth erupts, you should start to brush them. Use a very soft-bristled brush and get it wet to brush your infant’s teeth.
Make sure the toothbrush you use is appropriate for their age. Ask your dentist before using any toothpaste that contains fluoride if your child is under one year of age.
Encourage Healthy Habits
As your child grows, they’ll see that brushing their teeth is a normal part of their daily routine. Most kids between the ages of six to eight can handle brushing on their own.
Just make sure you inspect their mouth to be sure they brushed all of their teeth. Be encouraging, and have them brush their teeth twice a day at minimum. Kids should brush at least once in the morning and then again at night.
Always use soft-bristled brushes for kids since hard bristles can be too abrasive and may cause their gums to bleed. Replace the toothbrush every three to four months or sooner if it’s really worn out.
If your child gets sick, you should replace the toothbrush sooner to avoid the spread of germs. For toddlers under two years old, monitor your child as they brush and make sure they spit out as much toothpaste as possible. Kids between the ages of two and five can follow up by rinsing their mouth with water.
It’s All About the Technique
In order for brushing to be effective, your kids need to know how to do it properly. You can make this process fun by incorporating your own special touch, like calling it a game or making it a contest between two children.
To start, make sure your child has the toothbrush at a 45-degree angle placed at the gum line. Have them move their toothbrush back and forth as they repeat the process for each tooth.
Make sure your kids are brushing the inside surface of their teeth, too. This is important since it helps to remove pesky plaque that can be hidden from view.
As they go, have them brush the top of each tooth as well as the back. They should use the tip of their toothbrush to get into those hard-to-reach places.
Use kid-friendly toothpaste that’s made for their age group. Stay away from whitening toothpaste since it can damage delicate enamel.
When your child is done brushing, make sure they brush their tongue, too. The length of time kids spend on brushing should be at least two minutes. Find a short song they love, and play it as they brush, encouraging them to continue until the song is over.
Kids Flossing Tips
Flossing can be a bit more challenging than brushing, but that doesn’t mean it’s impossible to teach good kids flossing habits. Your child should start flossing as soon as their teeth start to grow next to each other.
Encourage your kids to floss at least once a day, and explain to them how icky food and plaque can get stuck in between their teeth. When you explain why flossing is important, it helps them understand the importance of this essential dental health habit.
To begin flossing, hold a short length of the floss between your thumb and index finger. Make sure you apply gentle, even pressure as you floss between each tooth.
Slide the floss up and down as you go, making sure you get in between the side of their teeth and along the gumline. Adjust the floss with a new section for each tooth so you don’t accidentally insert the already-removed particles or plaque back into their mouth.
As your child grows, you can encourage them to floss on their own. Ideally, parents should floss their kids’ teeth until the child is confident and able to do so safely by themselves. Monitor your child the first few times they floss to make sure they’re doing it correctly.
Starting Off With Good Dental Care Habits
The sooner you start your child off on a journey toward good oral health, the better off they’ll be. With these easy kids’ flossing and brushing tips, you can make dental care a fun part of their daily routine.
Add something exciting like a game, or play their favorite song to make brushing a positive experience. With a bit of patience and perseverance, your child will want to brush and floss on their own.
To schedule your child’s next dental appointment or if you have any questions, contact us today and visit our website for more information.