5 Tips For Teaching Kids To Brush
As parents, we are tasked with the job of showing our children how to walk, talk, eat, and take care of themselves. Part of taking care of themselves is teaching them good hygiene practices including brushing their teeth.
We only get one set of permanent teeth in our life and teaching our children good brushing habits when their baby teeth are still in will hopefully cut down on the oral health issues when they are older.
Teaching kids to brush at a young age will leave them with the best chance for great oral health in the future and help them prevent any hygiene-based dental issues like plaque buildup, cavities, gingivitis, and more.
And even though we know that brushing our teeth is good for us, our kids may still be reluctant to brush their teeth. So we’ve got a few tips on teaching kids to brush and how to make it more enjoyable and instill good habits!
Tip 1: Teach Them About Their Teeth
Children’s minds go through an extreme amount of development between the ages of 2-5. When we decide it’s time to teach them to brush their own teeth they will most likely have a million questions. When you teach them about their teeth, preventative dental care (like brushing and flossing), and WHY it’s important in a positive way instead of acting like it’s a chore it will allow them to develop an understanding that:
brushing teeth = good
You can show them videos, sing songs, read a book and show them by having good brushing habits yourself!
Tip 2: Let Them Pick Their Toothbrush
As silly as this tip may seem, when a child is excited about something they get to pick, they will be more eager to learn about it!
Take them and let them choose their first real toothbrush and tell them that it has the power to keep their teeth healthy and mouth for eating and talking!
Tip 3: Show And Repeat
We can’t just tell our kids how to brush their teeth, we have to show them! When you first start teaching kids to brush their teeth we want to show them how to properly do it.
Start by having them hold their brush and you holding it as well. Move their hand to show them the proper brushing techniques.
This ensures that you are teaching kids to brush the right way and now they understand HOW to brush instead of just putting the brush in their mouth and moving it around.
Once you’ve done it with them, allow them to try it on their own and start getting used to it.
Tip 4: Choose A Timer
How long are we supposed to brush our teeth? Good question!
According to the American Dental Association, you should brush your teeth for 2 minutes in the morning and 2 minutes at night.
For a child, 2 minutes can seem like an eternity. Help them understand that length of time by choosing a song or set of songs that last 2 minutes. Once they associate and learn these songs with brushing their teeth they can brush for the proper length anywhere, even without music!
Here is a great list of songs that you can use to help get your kids to brush their teeth:
Tip 5: Choose A Caring Dentist
Your child should be seeing a dentist as soon as their first tooth appears or your child’s first birthday.
Choosing the right dentist for your child will make all the difference in the world when it comes to good dental hygiene and care.
Obviously, if your child is scared of the dentist, it will make them more reluctant to take care of their oral health and not seek help when something like a cavity arises.
Choose a dentist that focuses on family dentistry (so you can all go!) and brings a positive light to dental and oral care and teaches them about their teeth and explains what they are doing as they are cleaning and assessing during their checkup.
Talk to your child after their appointment to understand their feelings about what happened during their cleaning and see if there are any fears or anxieties they are having.
Again, instilling a positive mindset on brushing their teeth and oral health and hygiene, in general, will make all the difference!
Need A Dentist For The Whole Family? Contact Castle Valley Dental Today!
If you live in the Castle Rock, CO area and are in need of a dentist for the whole family look no further than Castle Valley Dental!
We offer dental services for everyone from infants to grandmas and grandpas.
Our caring, dedicated, and experienced staff can assess your dental needs and answer any questions you may have.
To learn more about our dental practice and helpful oral health tips we encourage you to continue reading the articles on our blog page like our most recent which discusses why replacing lost teeth is important!
If you’re ready to set an appointment for you or a family member, contact us today!
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