When you feel your little one is physically able and responsible enough to start brushing their own teeth, try to make the experience as enjoyable as possible. Positive dental experiences as a child encourage lifelong adherence to superb oral healthcare habits. To help them follow through and brush effectively, check out these tried-and-true tips for getting kids to brush their teeth. Pretty soon your child will master their tooth-brushing routine!
Knowledge is power. If kids understand the benefits of good oral health and the negative consequences of poor brushing, they will be more likely to establish healthy oral hygiene habits. Explain to your child that brushing their teeth keeps their teeth and gums strong and healthy so they can continue to play, have fun, learn, and do their favorite things. In simple language, teach the basics of how the sugar in our diet is eaten by bacteria, or “sugar monsters”, in our mouth that need to be brushed away. If they aren’t brushed away, we can get stinky breath, yellow teeth, mouth pain, and holes in our teeth, and even lose teeth we aren’t supposed to.
Many children learn best by following the example of someone they respect. So make oral care a family activity! By brushing your teeth in front of your child, they will observe your technique and be inspired to follow your lead. Have patience and in time your child will be in the habit of brushing regularly and correctly.
One of the easiest ways to encourage your kid to brush every day is to make it fun! Try some of the following: purchase a kid-friendly electric toothbrush in their favorite color or with a beloved cartoon character; choose a kid-friendly toothpaste flavor like bubblegum or strawberry (but teach them to still spit it out when they’re done!); play music or a YouTube video on your phone while they brush; offer small rewards for twice daily brushing, like a sticker chart or an extra story before bedtime; and make their bathroom a comfy space with a cushy rug and decor they like.
Brushing twice a day for two minutes each time is crucial, but it’s not the whole picture. Preventive oral care should also include daily flossing, a balanced diet, plenty of water, an athletic mouthguard for young athletes, and biannual visits to the dentist for a checkup and cleaning. At this routine appointment, we give their teeth and gums a deep clean and examine their mouth for any issues that need treatment. Your kiddo will love our friendly team, TVs with Netflix® in our treatment rooms, and complimentary snacks, drinks, pillows, and blankets. Contact your family dentist in Katy, TX, today and we’ll make sure your child’s next appointment is on the books.