As a parent to a young child, it may seem like there’s a new lesson to teach them every day. Maybe it’s something about sharing. Or maybe it’s about how to be polite by saying please and thank you. One of the things you’ll need to eventually instruct your child in is how to brush their own teeth. This happens when they’re physically capable of manipulating their toothbrush, usually when they learn how to tie their shoes. But until then you’ll need to make sure that you’re doing all you can to keep their smile healthy. Here are some important brushing tips to help get you going.
- Get the Right Toothbrush
- Use the Right Amount of Toothpaste
- Set a Good Example
- Use a Fun Song or Video As a Timer
- Create a Brushing Chart
When you go to buy your child’s toothbrush, make sure you’re getting one that has soft bristles and is child-sized. You want to make sure that it won’t hurt their mouth or be difficult to fit in their mouth. You can even let them pick out the toothbrush they want, which is a good trick for helping them feel more invested in their own dental care.
How much toothpaste you use to brush your child’s teeth or that they use to brush their own teeth will depend on how old they are. As a general rule of thumb, you can use about the size of a grain of rice until they turn three years old. Then when they’re three years old or older, you can increase that to the size of a pea.
Kids watch what adults are doing and take in certain behaviors, whether we want them to follow those or not. Because of that, you should make sure you’re setting a good example by keeping up with your own dental routine. Let your kid see that you’re brushing your teeth every morning and every night. Don’t let them hear you complain about your dental care—otherwise, they may internalize that and develop a negative attitude.
The recommended brushing time is two minutes, which can seem like an eternity for a child. To help keep them entertained so you can brush their teeth for the full two minutes, pick a fun song or video they like to hold their attention. And later when they’re brushing their own teeth, this same trick can help them know exactly how long to brush for.
Another way to help your child get excited about teethbrushing is to create a sticker chart. Have them put stickers on spaces for morning and night every day when their brushing is complete. For added incentive, you could even set up a reward system for getting certain prizes once they’ve accumulated a certain number of stickers.
Consult with Our Friendly Team in Austin, TX
Want more oral care tips? Or need some extra help getting your kid excited about their oral health? Happy Teeth Pediatric Dentistry is all about helping kids have healthy, happy smiles and one of our team members would be glad to assist you. Contact our dental practice today.