Teaching children to brush and floss their teeth can be somewhat amusing, but it can offer some frustrating moments as well. Young children ages 2-5 are fiercely fighting for independence and brushing their own teeth at night is no exemption to the “me do it” stage. Despite their own self-confidence, children in this early stage still need parental guidance. Between the ages of 6 and 8, children are more in control of their fine motor skills and are more capable of brushing on their own.
It’s important to start early and children learn by watching and adapting behaviors they see. It may prove beneficial to brush your teeth with your child in the initial phases.
A few basic steps to consider:
- Brush at least twice a day.
- Brush for at least two minutes.
- Be patient and look to “help” your child along.
- Use a soft bristled toothbrush.
- Use a pea size amount of toothpaste.
- Avoid using fluoride until the child is old enough not to swallow the toothpaste.
- Use a circular motion when brushing.
- Brush from outside, inside and then biting surface
- Floss. Introducing flossing is fairly easy because most children have large spaces between their teeth. There are flossing aides available at your local store that may make it easier for your child to adapt to flossing everyday.
Make Brushing Fun!!!
Rock Out! Play your child’s favorite song while they brush. This can make brushing more like a rock concert than a routine. Most songs last longer than two minutes, so before their favorite tune is over, they are done!
Who doesn’t want a superhero toothbrush or perhaps the prettiest Disney Princess pioneering this adventure at the bathroom sink? Let your child pick out their own toothbrush at the store. You can find just about any major cartoon character in the form of a toothbrush and this is one way they can exercise some of that independence muscle they are dying to flex.
Make funny faces in the mirror while you brush. If you can get your child to make the “ahh” or “eee” sound, they may be laughing, but you can be sure they are brushing all the necessary surfaces.
Save yourself time and money with regular check ups. Regular check ups with a pediatric dentist helps prevent tooth decay and gum disease which in turn saves you money when you don’t have to pay for fillings or other dental procedures.
We look forward to seeing you soon!