It’s important to teach kids how to properly take care of their teeth. With good habits in place early on, you can help reduce dental visits (and required procedures) in years to come, while increasing the health of their teeth overall.
One of the most important steps along that path of a healthy dental routine is that of regular brushing! So many kids aren’t taught how or when to brush their teeth. While, yes, their “baby” teeth will fall out and make way for their adult and permanent teeth, without good habits in place, those adult teeth are at risk of poor dental hygiene.
In order to find and hone the best steps for an ideal brushing routine, follow these important steps. They’re ideal for keeping kids on track, and for helping these good habits to stick long term.
Start Young: Teach Your Kids to Brush Their Teeth Early On
As soon as your kids get teeth – even before – it’s a good idea to start showing them how to brush. Babies can get used to gum stimulation with a simple massager. (Use a brush made for babies or a model that slips onto your finger for gum “brushing”.)
It can be scary for babies or young kids to think about brushing their teeth – or even having mom and dad help. However, the earlier you start this routine, the less resistant they’ll be to regular brushing.
This should be a joint effort. Allow them to brush their own teeth, then do it yourself (or vice versa). Helping teaches them the correct way to brush, and it gives you peace of mind that their teeth are actually getting clean!
Remain Consistent: Teach Your Kids to Brush Their Teeth Every Day, Twice a Day
Nighttime routines can seem lengthy at times, but it’s important to keep teeth brushing as part of the list. Doing so will show them it’s not optional, but something that must be done to keep their teeth healthy and clean. Even when they’re tired or grumpy.
Be sure to teach them that there’s no eating after teeth brushing, either. This is a good marker for knowing that snacks and drinks (aside from water) are done for the night and that it’s time to settle before bed.
Lead by Example: Keep Good Dental Hygiene to Teach Your Kids Proper Dental Health
It’s also important for your kids to see you brush your teeth. Continue with your normal dental routine (brushing, flossing, mouthwash) and tell them what you’re doing. This will allow them to learn, as well as create an opportunity for any questions they might have about keeping clean teeth.
Make it fun. Sing a song, set a timer, play music, or create a bathroom dance party. Brushing teeth doesn’t have to be robotic and boring … the more fun you can create while doing it, the more likely your kids are to enjoy the routine.
With regular brushings and an opportunity to lead by example, your kids can easily learn the ins and outs of proper dental health.