This is a post aimed at getting your children into a good toothcare regime and was not written by this blog’s author.
Getting Your Kids to Brush Their Teeth
Children’s teeth can decay more quickly than adults’ do, so it’s very important to get your children used to brushing their teeth as early as possible. However, some children can be reluctant tooth-brushers!
It’s a good idea to begin brushing babies’ teeth as soon as the first tooth appears at about six months. Use a soft babies’ toothbrush and a pea-sized dab of toothpaste: one that contains fluoride and is designed for children aged up to three years. If your child is reluctant at first, persevere: it may help you to reach the back teeth if you gently cradle your child’s head from behind while brushing.
All about routine
Let your child brush for themselves as early as possible. Just brush again once they have finished, checking that the back teeth are cleaned properly. An electric toothbrush can speed up this brushing routine. Children should brush their teeth twice a day, in the morning, either before or after breakfast, and last thing before bedtime. Repeat this daily to get them into a good habit.
Top tooth brushing tips
1. If your child is reluctant, try and be as enthusiastic about tooth brushing yourself as you can – let your kids watch you cleaning your teeth, and make lots of noise while you’re doing it. If your child sees teeth cleaning as a fun activity, he or she will be keen to join in.
2. Give your child some warning that it’s nearly time to brush their teeth, so that they are prepared for the activity, and use clear but firm language. For example, say “It’s time to clean your teeth now”, rather than ask the question: “Would you like to clean your teeth now?”
3. Go shopping with your child and allow them to choose their own toothbrush. Children’s toothbrushes are made in a range of colourful, character themed designs, such as pirates, mermaids and so on. An electric toothbrush is an excellent idea to help young children clean their teeth properly and is recommended by dentists. Re-chargeable or battery operated, some have flashing lights, and play a tune, which helps the child to brush their teeth for the recommended length of time.
4. Make tooth brushing as much fun as possible. Try singing a song while your child brushes – it will make the routine activity more like a game.
It is vital to create routine for kids brushing their teeth, but that doesn’t mean it can’t be fun.