Having to worry about your child’s dental health can be stressful. Encouraging them to brush and floss daily can sometimes be a struggle, but getting them to understand the importance of their oral health can affect them well into adulthood. When you keep their smile bright and cavity-free, you can reduce your son or daughter’s risk of developing oral problems that could easily be prevented. These toothbrushing tips paired with some basic preventive measures can help ease your worries.
Choosing the Right Toothbrush
Soft-bristled toothbrushes are great for brushing a young child or infant’s teeth. No matter what their age is, they should be able to comfortably fit their toothbrush in their mouth. It’s also a good idea to get one that has their favorite cartoon character or color on it to make brushing more exciting.
Teaching Them to Brush Properly
Toothbrushing can be broken down into a couple of small steps:
- First, if they’re old enough to use fluoridated hygiene products, apply the necessary amount of toothpaste onto their brush depending on their age. It’s typically recommended to start only using a smear of toothpaste around the age of 2, and then increasing the amount accordingly.
- Angle their toothbrush at 45 degrees towards the upper and lower teeth.
- Next, have them gently move their brush back and forth along their teeth and gums. Continue until the entire surface of their mouth has been scrubbed.
- Be sure to get behind the front teeth on the top and bottom of their mouth as well as having them brush their tongue.
For any additional tips or advice, consult your dentist or oral hygienist during your son or daughter’s regular cleaning and checkup.
Choosing the Right Toothpaste
It’s important to double-check with your children’s dentist on whether or not your child should be using fluoridated oral hygiene products. If they can, be sure to let your son or daughter pick out a toothpaste flavor they enjoy that also makes their mouth feel fresh and clean afterward.
Believe it or not, toothpaste can be a huge deterrent for your child when it comes to them wanting to brush their teeth. It’s a good idea to place the toothpaste on their brush yourself so you’re able to ensure that they don’t use too much. For younger children, it’s typically recommended that they use only a small pea-sized dab.
Make Brushing Fun
Making oral hygiene engaging and fun can make your child excited about keeping up with their teeth. Here are a few tips on how to spice-up brushing time:
- Have your child brush to their favorite song for 2 minutes.
- Make the bathroom exciting with fun toothbrush holders, towels, and accessories.
- Encourage your son or daughter with incentives like being able to choose a movie for family night.
- Turn brushing into a game by seeing who can create the most bubbles in their mouth.
- Remember to praise your child for taking care of their oral health and emphasize the great benefits that will come from their hard work.
Taking the proper preventive measures will keep your child’s smile bright and happy for years to come. You can always ask their dentist for additional tips and tricks to encourage healthy hygiene routines at their regular checkups and cleanings. Teaching them the basics will allow you to lay the foundation for exceptional oral health when they’re adults. They’ll thank you for it later!
About the Author
Dr. Matthew Coplin recognizes that each child that comes into his practice has a unique smile, and it should be treated that way. He strives to create a fun and informative visit for your son or daughter and make them as comfortable as possible. For any questions or to schedule an appointment, visit his website or contact him at 406-442-1377.