Good parents want the best that’s available for their children. That means teaching them to do right and avoid wrong. We show them how to get dressed, cross the street, use the restroom, and obey essential rules. Children need these skills and training to succeed in everyday life. The same is true of a good routine for oral hygiene. But what can you do to train your child to practice good oral health care?
Start Oral Care Training Early
Even before their teeth come in, you can help prepare them for bushing. Take a soft cloth and gently rub you child’s gums, to simulate tooth brushing action. Then, transition to a baby toothbrush once their teeth come in. Doing this every day gets them used to the action and the necessary consistency. Perhaps you can brush your child’s gums with the cloth before or after you brush your own teeth, and while they watch.
Give Them Dental Choices
If you take your child to the local store or pharmacy, they’ll see all the different toothbrushes and flosses available. Some are especially designed for them. Many toothbrushes— even electric ones — are made with smaller heads for smaller mouths. Some feature television or movie characters. Toothpastes and flosses designed for children vary in flavor, so if the adult mint is too strong, find something that appeals to them. That way they’re more inclined to use it every day.
Brush Your Teeth Together!
Your children not only want to spend time with you, but they also want to do things with you. Oral hygiene can easily create shared moments with them. Brush together, perhaps listening to a favorite two-minute song to time it right. Take turns flossing and inspecting each other’s work. Flossing is often the most challenging part of good oral hygiene, so help them learn how to do it properly.
Also, don’t discount brushing at night, right before going to bed. Remember, the goal is to brush your teeth for two minutes, twice a day! So, show them how important oral hygiene is to you by being regular in your hygiene habits. Avoid merely giving them directions to go brush their teeth while you watch TV. Always do it together! It sets a great model for them and instills the routine of oral hygiene into their daily lives.
Introduce Your Dentist
When should your child have their first visit to the dentist? Children should have their first pediatric visit to the dentist within six months of their first tooth showing up — or by their first birthday, whichever comes first. Not only does this give your child an opportunity to get to know us (and we get to know them), but our dentists can identify any issues at a very early stage and discuss any treatments or adjustments to their oral hygiene that might be needed. We know you want the best for your children, and we do as well. If you haven’t already, make an appointment for your young ones with the Placerville Dental Group, either here on our website or by phone. Let’s help them make the most of their oral hygiene habits!