Our Waco dentist believes that starting a good oral care routine with your child at an early age is essential for the long-term health of their teeth. But we know that getting a young child to understand the importance of brushing their teeth can be an uphill battle, so we’ve put together a few tips that will help your family along the way:
1. Start Brushing At An Early Age
Ideally, you should start brushing your child’s teeth as soon as the first one shows up during infancy. Continuing on as more teeth erupt will help get them used to a routine. Once they’re at an age where you feel comfortable letting them try brushing on their own, then go for it – under your supervision of course.
2. Let Them Pick Out Their Own Toothbrush and Toothpaste
Whether it’s a special character or a certain color, allowing your child to pick out the toothbrush and toothpaste of their choice will get them excited to come home and put their new tools to work.
You may want to consider getting a children’s electric toothbrush. Not only do they look cool but they will typically clean their teeth better too.
Remember to replace your child’s toothbrush with a new one every three months.
3. Educate Your Child
Remind them of the importance of brushing and why you do it so often. Teach them about germs, cavities, and bad breath.
4. Brush Along With Them
Your child may be more willing to brush their teeth if you make it a group activity. Brush your teeth alongside your child or have an older sibling do it with them.
5. Make Brushing Fun!
What small child doesn’t like a fun activity? To most of us, brushing our teeth is a chore that gets boring and no one really wants to do it. To keep your son or daughter interested, make brushing fun. Consider turning it into a game but don’t make speed a winning factor. You could even sing a song, and/or make a reward chart.
Playing “dentist” with their favorite doll or stuffed animal is also fun to do.
6. Encourage Your Child
Think for a moment about how you feel when someone motivates you. It’s empowering, isn’t it? Be your child’s cheerleader. Let them know that they’re doing a good job brushing their teeth and that you’re so proud of them. Positive reinforcement is a great way to ensure that your little one will make having a good hygiene routine an important daily activity.
7. Find The Right Dentist
Having a top-notch dental team by your side is crucial for instilling a lifelong commitment to good oral hygiene. Dr. Susan Francis and the fun-loving team of Bellmead Kid's Dentistry are here to help you along the way. Visiting our Waco office twice a year for cleanings to give your child the boost of energy that they need to continue to be committed to healthy teeth at home.
If it’s time for your little one to see the dentist, give us a call today to schedule an appointment.