We bet you know that brushing twice each day is recommended by dentists to keep teeth clean and control plaque buildup. But you also probably know it’s tough to get kids to brush regularly and sufficiently every day! At North Boulder Dental, our team understands the challenges busy families face so we developed a few tips to help you support your family in creating healthy habits!
Baby teeth are important and serve to prepare the mouth and jaw for adult teeth to arrive. Strong, healthy teeth will help your child chew properly and speak clearly. Before your baby’s first teeth emerge, gently wipe their gums clean with a moistened piece of cloth or gauze after feedings and before bedtime. This small act will begin to get them used to a cleaning routine!
Brushing for Beginners
Healthy habits take persistence and motivation to perform. You can help your child create the habit of brushing twice each day by introducing a small, soft, child-sized toothbrush as soon as teeth emerge. Treat your child to a fun toothbrush and gently clean their teeth for them, using a pea-sized amount of fluoride toothpaste, in the morning and before bed. To create a family brushing practice, allow your child to “brush” your teeth and then show them how you do it!
As your child gets older, they will be used to teeth brushing and can safely brush their own teeth. This is the time to join your child and brush as a team! Show your family that it’s essential and easy to brush teeth by joining the kids and brushing alongside them for the morning and nighttime teeth brushing routine! Kids like to copy others and by brushing together they will learn to feel responsible for keeping their teeth clean.
There may come a time when your older child or teen pushes back on a family brushing routine. That is fair and to be expected! When and if this arrives, talk to your child about the importance of brushing and convey confidence and trust that – after years of brushing together – you know they do it correctly and expect them to continue maintaining good oral health. Consider still allowing your child to choose their toothbrush and, if possible, consider buying them a “grown-up” electric toothbrush. Above all, remember that you’ve instilled great habits in your child and be confident this phase will pass!
As your child grows, be sure to acknowledge and reward their good health habits. Allow children to choose their own toothbrush when possible. Or create a tooth brushing chart where they can add a sticker or draw a star on a chart after each brushing session. Consider visiting the movies after the regular dental checkup as a time to have fun and be together. Comment on your child or teen’s nice-looking smile, which will boost confidence and allow them to associate their teeth with these good habits. Positively recognizing good behavior boosts us all!
As you are ushering in the next generation of good teeth brushers, don’t forget to make appointments for dental checkups and cleanings. It can help to simplify life if you make these ahead of time for the year! Call us at (303) 447-1042, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org or drop us a note to get your appointments scheduled!