The American Dental Association recommends that you brush your teeth at least twice a day. Every session should last at least two minutes, and it is important to cover every surface of your teeth. A soft bristled brush should be used with gentle, circular motions. Did you know that the same guidelines that apply to you also apply to your child? At Tiny Teeth Pediatric Dentistry, we know the struggle of getting your child to brush their teeth every day. To help, we have compiled a list of brushing tips for kids.
Picking Out the Right Toothbrush
How closely do you pay attention to the toothbrush you pick out? Usually, as long as it has soft bristles, you probably spend very little time thinking about it. Have you ever taken a close look at the toothbrushes aimed at children? They are available in a wide array of bright colors. Many of them have popular characters from cartoon shows. Even if you choose the favorite color or character of your child, however, you may find that they still do not want to brush. Instead, let your child pick out their toothbrush. The independence to pick out their toothbrush can often lead to a desire to use it more often. Just make sure that their chosen toothbrush has soft bristles and a head designed for smaller mouths.
Play Some Music
Children often rush through their brushing routine because they are more interested in doing other, more exciting, activities. However, your child should be brushing for a full two minutes. There is no fun in staring at a clock. However, you can make these two minutes fun. There are plenty of songs available that can be found with a quick internet search. Many lyrics are meant to be sung to the tune of other popular songs for kids. There are also apps available on your smartphone that you can download.
There are books about everything for kids, from teaching them the importance of making friends, eating their vegetables, and going to bed. There are also plenty of books about brushing their teeth. These books have easy to follow plots with fun characters and colorful pictures. Add a few brushing books to the bookshelf and pull one out before brushing.
What kid does not like stickers? A sticker chart can be a great motivator to get your child to brush. At the end of the week, you can provide your child with a reward such as picking a movie to watch or extra story time before bed. Alternatively, you can offer your child to save their rewards and opt for a bigger reward like a trip to the zoo or aquarium.
Make it a Family Event
Your child learns by watching everything you do. For this reason, it is important that you model good brushing behavior. If your child sees you brushing every day, it becomes a normal part of the daily routine. Brush your teeth with your child. Let them see how you apply toothpaste and the proper brushing technique. You can also let your child practice on your teeth as well. Then, let your child brush their teeth. Younger children may need you to go back over their teeth to ensure that they reached every area of the mouth. Children can typically brush their teeth alone around the age of 6 or 7, but they should continue to be monitored from a distance until the age of 11 or 12.
By developing good brushing habits early in life, you help to set your child up for a lifetime of good oral health. If you have any questions, contact Tiny Teeth Pediatric Dentistry today at (316) 202-9629.