At Lynn Dental Care, we believe effective dental and oral health practices start with a strong basis at home. This is true at any age, but particularly for kids. Healthy habits from a young age will turn into lifelong healthy habits. Here are some tips to help set your kids up for a life of bright and healthy smiles.
1. Start Early
Tooth brushing should begin as soon as your child’s teeth start to appear, usually around 6 months old. You should be sure to use the appropriate toothpaste and toothbrushes for your child’s age. Begin with training toothpaste that is safe to swallow and when you child gets older, you can move on to children’s toothpaste with low fluoride concentrations. Experts suggest gently brushing children’s teeth for them until about age 2. Don’t let the mess of a toddler brushing their own teeth discourage you. Working together to create a routine that allows them to be independent will get them excited about being responsible for their own oral health care.
Part of teaching your kids the importance of brushing their teeth is leading by example. Children naturally model their behavior on that of their parents, so give them healthy habits to imitate. Join your child in brushing their teeth by brushing yours along with them. Get down on their level and explain what you are doing in language they can relate to. You can describe the motion of your toothbrush as train wheels moving from right-to-left and left-to-right on the train tracks. Show them how you brush your own teeth and explain why it’s important with clear reasons. Explain that brushing twice a day prevents cavities and will keep their smile bright and beautiful.
3. Get Them Involved
Dental health care supplies come in a variety of colors and flavors and feature some of your child’s favorite characters. Take your child along with you to the store and let them pick their own toothbrush, toothpaste, and floss. Letting kids pick their own supplies can turn into a treat that will get them excited about using them to brush and floss later. Letting older kids choose an electric toothbrush may give it the cool factor which will get them excited about brushing. It can be helpful to let pickier kids choose a couple toothpaste varieties. This will allow them to switch things up if they tire of one or if they find that they don’t like a particular flavor.
4. Make it Fun
Kids are famous for their short attention spans. That’s why it’s important to infuse daily brushing with some fun. Set a two-minute timer to make sure that your kids are brushing an appropriate amount of time and then turn it into a game. When brushing with your kids, you can encourage them to see who can get the most bubbles with their toothpaste in the 2 minutes. Kids are often encouraged by competition and reward, so turning brushing into a contest or reward system will give them the positive reinforcement to get them excited about taking care of their teeth.
For information about how to care for your teeth at any age, contact Lynn Dental Care today.