As a parent, your top priority is making sure your child has all the tools they need to maintain a healthy and bright smile into adulthood. But you’re worried because your child is always reluctant to brush and floss when you tell them. You don’t want them to grow up resenting taking care of their oral health because it feels like a chore. The best way to establish good hygiene habits is to start building a foundation for great oral care when they’re young. Your pediatric dentist in Irving discusses tips on how to make brushing feel like a fun activity instead of a mundane task.
When Should Your Child Start Brushing?
The American Dental Association recommends that a child should have their first dental visit by the time they’re one year old or within six months after their first tooth appears. It’s best to introduce your child to good oral hygiene habits at an early age so they get used to it. As a parent, it’s a good idea to take the time to show your child how to brush properly to help avoid cavities and decay.
Teaching Your Child to Brush Properly
There are four main steps to brushing your teeth that you can guide your child through:
- Angle your child’s toothbrush (soft-bristled) at a 45-degree angle towards their gums between their upper and lower teeth.
- Gently move their toothbrush back-and-forth in short strokes. Do this while scrubbing every tooth’s surface.
- In order to reach behind their front top and bottom teeth, hold their toothbrush in an upright position.
- Don’t forget to show them to brush their tongue to help remove bacteria and prevent bad breath!
Teaching your child to take care of themselves can give you the peace-of-mind you need when they become adults. Making brushing fun can be a great way to motivate your child to get excited about taking care of themselves and forming positive habits!
Fun Brushing Tips
Making oral hygiene more enjoyable by incorporating small incentives and fun activities can be a great way to get your child excited about brushing their teeth. Here are some ways you can make their oral routine less of a chore:
- Get your child involved in their own oral health by letting them pick out fun hygiene products! Allow them to pick out their own battery-powered toothbrush that can gently remove plaque and tartar from their teeth. They can also pick out a fun children’s toothpaste in a flavor they enjoy. Your loved one may start running into the bathroom instead of away from it with these exciting new additions!
- Instead of just supervising them to make sure they brush for two minutes, you can pass the time by playing their favorite song. You can do this in other ways by telling them a short story, playing a fun video for them while they brush, or having a mini dance party!
- Reward brushing with incentives that you believe will motivate them. If they brush and floss without having to be reminded to, you can let them pick out the next movie for family night. You can even offer praise and recognition by telling them you’re proud of them.
Your children learn about how to take care of themselves from watching you, so by setting a good example, you can help them establish great habits! Additionally, taking them to see their children’s dentist in Irving can be a great way to inspire them to get interested in their mouth. Keep enjoying their bright and happy smile by giving them the tools they need to maintain it.
About the Author
Dr. Bhaumik is a board-certified pediatric dentist that completed his undergraduate studies at Texas A&M University and attended the dental school at Baylor College of Dentistry. He has always been passionate about working with children and giving them bright and healthy smiles. Whatever your child needs, Dr. Bhaumik provides the highest quality of kid-friendly comprehensive dental care. For any questions or to schedule an appointment for your son or daughter with a dentist for kids in Irving, visit Rio Dental & Orthodontics’ website or contact 972-793-0735.