Oral health is an important part of your child’s overall health and basic maintenance skills should be taught to children starting at a young age. Teaching children the basic skills they need in order to have healthy teeth can be a challenge for many parents.
Teaching your children to brush their teeth is not an impossible mission, so we gathered some of the most efficient methods and pieces of advice to help you succeed in teaching them this essential routine
Teeth Brushing Should Start At An Early Age.
The earlier, the better. It’s never too early, so you can start right after the first tooth appears. Cleaning baby’s tooth can be done with a small washcloth and at this age, oral health means gently wiping the mouth while thoroughly cleaning the tooth.
You can use this washcloth method until four teeth erupt, and at this moment you could introduce a baby’s toothbrush. You don’t need to use toothpaste at these early stages, and talk to your baby and explain to her what you are doing. They may not actually understand what you are saying, but your calm voice will transmit them the idea that tooth brushing is pleasant and safe.
Starting around the age of two, children can become actively involved in tooth brushing. And trust us, they will really want to do it by themselves. Maintaining the calm voice you have used them with, explain to them how to correctly execute the movements so all teeth get brushed.
You and your child can do teamwork sometimes: you for one minute and him/her for the other minute. They will not be able to do it perfectly, but it’s important for them to feel competent and autonomous regarding they body care routine. Gently guide them and be patient! In time they will perfect their tooth brushing technique! Now would be the perfect time to start using toothpaste (a little dab is more than enough).
Around the age of six, you could let them take over entire control of tooth brushing routine. Lead by example, brush your teeth together, kindly remind them when they forget about the oral health routine and don’t forget about the calm voice.
They still need it and now, more than ever, they will listen and follow your guidelines and will try to implement them in their tooth brushing routine.
Your Baby Is Growing Up
As they are growing, your involvement in the tooth brushing process should decrease with time. Foundations for this health routine have been established until the age of eight or nine, and now your role should focus only on support.
They might feel ready and proud to switch to the next age tier toothpaste so encourage them and help them make a choice by providing assistance on the variety of products out there on the market.
General Tooth Brushing Advice
- You can find a huge variety of toothbrushes on supermarket shelves and the key aspect to keep in mind is that they are size adapted for children’s ages, so teach them to use only their age appropriate kind of toothbrush for a correct oral health maintenance routine. Another essential aspect is to allow your child to choose his own toothbrush because they feel much more responsible this way. Do your research, choose few models appropriate for their age, decide between classic and electric, and let them choose their favorite model, color and shape.
- An essential tooth brushing skill is spitting the toothpaste. In case you chose a non-fluoride toothpaste for the early ages, you don’t actually have to teach them how to do that, but there will come the moment when they’ll switch to fluoride toothpaste (usually after all permanent teeth have erupted) so they will have to learn this anyway. It’s up to you if you teach them earlier or later in their life.
How To Make Tooth Brushing More Fun?
Children get bored easily when they have to accomplish such routine activities, so here are some ideas tooth time could become more attractive. There are certain electric toothbrushes models that come with incorporated songs, and they will associate tooth brushing with an already known song. This will make it easier for them (some electric toothbrushes have a timer incorporated and two minutes will be less abstract for your children).
Technology also comes in handy for parents, because you can install on your smartphone applications with children’s favorite characters (brushing their teeth too, singing and dancing funny teeth-related songs).
Teaching youngest family members to brush their teeth can also be easy and fun, especially when started early. Instilling this oral health care routine needs patience and consistency, but the results are long-term are truly worthy!