Best practices and habits start at home and at a young age. Whether it’s studying for school or caring for oral health, it’s best to teach children early and teach them right because what they learn in their early years will last a lifetime.
When it comes to oral health, take a moment to sit down with your children and teach them how to brush their teeth with great care. It doesn’t have to be boring or dull. Give them incentives, make it fun and keep reminding them of the benefits.
If you’re unsure of what to say or how to teach your kids best brushing practices, well, you’re in for a treat today. Sit back, grasp what we have to say and then go forth and teach your children.
What’s the best age to start?
Around the age of 2 or 3 is the best time to start. This is early enough to expose your child to the necessity of brushing, but also allows enough time for them to actually have teeth to brush. Just know, teaching and guidance will need to continue until they are between the ages of 6-8 when they can take responsibility on their own.
How do you start teaching?
Everyone has a different method, but one of the best for teaching anyone anything is by showing them. Whenever it’s time for your child to brush, take out your toothbrush and brush with them. Get down on their level, show them the brushing motion and teach them how long they need to brush.
If necessary, take their toothbrush and demonstrate on them with your hand on theirs, guiding them through the motion. Once they start to feel the proper motion, it will be become more natural. As you walk through the process tell them why each motion is important and explain the different areas of the teeth and gums to brush.
How can you make it fun?
Children love games. They love to laugh and have a fun time, so make brushing teeth a fun experience. Maybe play their favorite music in the bathroom while you’re teaching them and dance a bit. Offer rewards for brushing well, such as being able to watch another TV show or a little bit of extra time playing with their toys. Rewards encourage children to do things they don’t particularly understand or like.
Purchase children’s toothbrushes and toothpastes. Take your child to the store with you and let them select their toothbrush and toothpaste. If they’re excited about the toothbrush then they’re more likely to use it.
How can you keep up good brushing habits?
Set a regular time for brushing every morning and evening so the child gets in the habit of brushing at that particular time. As this becomes habit, they will more naturally go to the bathroom to brush during this time. It will take some encouragement and endurance through some fits, but it’s worth it.
What else should you do to help your child?
Don’t forget about regular checkups at your local dentist. Your children need to see the dentist as they grow and their teeth mature. Did you know that 40% of children have cavities by the time they enter kindergarten?
To prevent cavities and to address them if they become an issue, make it a point to visit the dentist. If you don’t have a dentist or are searching for a new one in the Birmingham, AL area, then it’s time to consider Valleydale Dental.
Dr. Gonzalez provides great dental care for the entire family and the Valleydale Dental staff makes everyone feel right at home. Going to the dentist is no longer a fear for those at Valleydale.