As soon as your little one begins to grow their pearly whites, your dentist will want you to commence with twice-daily teeth brushing. From a young age, you lay the foundation for healthy oral care. Brushing your kids’ teeth is natural for most grown-ups. After all, your baby or toddler probably doesn’t have the fine motor skills to handle this essential task. At some point, however, your growing kid will need to learn how to brush their teeth on their own.
You may not know how to pass your child’s toothbrushing into their small but capable hands. In this post, we’ll discuss some helpful ideas for how to teach your kid to brush their teeth twice a day.
Start a Daily Routine and Stay Consistent
Once you’ve got your child’s toothbrushing routine set in place, make sure to keep to it no matter what. You may be tempted to let them skip a brushing or two when you’re on vacation or after a long, tiring day. However, keeping to your routine will make things easier with each passing day.
Give Them Examples of Good Toothbrushing Habits
You are your child’s best teacher when it comes to good dental hygiene. When they see you brushing and flossing every day, they’ll be more likely to make toothbrushing a habit. You can make this practice more fun by standing side by side and brushing your teeth together, encouraging your little one to copy your every move.
Many of your child’s favourite characters have special segments or books about brushing their teeth. From Sesame Street to Daniel Tiger, you can watch these shows or read the stories and use these characters as a good example.
Use Only a Pea-Sized Amount of Toothpaste
Now that your child has the tube of toothpaste all to themselves, they may start squeezing and keep squeezing until you have a huge mess on your hands. Kids don’t know how much toothpaste is too much unless you teach them. So, instruct them ahead of time to use only a pea-sized amount on their toothbrush.
Brush Along to a Two-Minute Song
Most kids will brush their teeth as quickly as possible and then yell out triumphantly that they’re “all done.” However, teeth need to be brushed for a minimum of two minutes twice a day. If they’re not sure how long that is, play a special tooth-brushing song and let them know that they’re not done till the song’s final note.
Find an Age-Appropriate Toothbrush
Depending on the age of your child, brushing and flossing can be difficult for their little hands. Find age-appropriate toothbrushes to ensure they can reach and properly brush all their teeth. Let your little one pick out their flavoured toothpaste and toothbrush, whether it’s a brush sporting a fun character or their favourite colour.
If your kid doesn’t have much manual dexterity yet, a powered toothbrush may be needed to keep their teeth extra clean. If you’re concerned that your child is not thoroughly brushing all areas of their teeth, you should be assisting them until their dexterity and ability to clean are satisfactory.
Additionally, you can use a disclosing agent to help ensure that everything is properly cleaned! A disclosing agent typically comes in the form of a tablet. After your child is done brushing their teeth, have them chew on the tablet for 30 seconds without swallowing. The tablet will turn any remaining plaque on their teeth a different color so that you and your child can see the spots they missed while brushing.
Reward Good Toothbrushing
If you find it difficult to encourage proper toothbrushing, try using a reward system. Praise them for their fantastic technique or for brushing for the entire two minutes. Then, let them choose a fun reward.
Visit a Children’s Dentist in Calgary or Edmonton
If it’s time for your child’s annual dentist visit, you’ll want to find a practice that specializes in Children’s Dentistry. At Dental Choice, we love kids, and we love helping them develop healthy habits for the brightest, whitest teeth possible. We invite you to schedule your child’s dental appointment at one of our locations in Calgary or Edmonton.