Tips for Brushing
Sometimes getting kids to brush their teeth feels more like you’re off to war, but brushing does not have to be a point of contention. Here at Smile Kids! Pediatric Dentistry we have a couple of tips that we would like to share with you, to help your child learn to enjoy, or at least tolerate, brushing their teeth.
Choose the Right Brush
Make sure you are not using a toothbrush designed for adults. Not only will the larger head have trouble fitting in a child’s mouth, but the coarser bristles will irritate their sensitive gums and teeth. Instead, make sure to choose a brush with extra-soft bristles. Some brushes can even sing along with your child while brushing! It is also a good idea to allow them the chance to pick out their own brush. Doing so gives them a sense of ownership over their new tool and empowers them to make more positive decisions about their teeth.
Choose the Right Toothpaste
Feel free to try different flavors to see what your child likes best, but make sure to always choose one with fluoride. Many adult toothpastes have a strong flavor that can be overwhelming for small palates, so choosing a kid-flavored paste is an easy way to help them keep the toothpaste in their mouth and not everywhere else. Picking up a few different flavors gives your child the chance to pick their own during brushing time. Children under the age of three only require a small droplet of toothpaste, whereas children from ages three to about six, they should be using roughly an amount equal to the size of a pea.
Show Your Child How to Brush
Your kids look up to you for everything, and there is no reason brushing has to be any different. Take the time to show them how it is done, where they need to brush, the movements they need to use, and how long they need to do it for. Brushing your teeth at the same time shows them that you care about your teeth too.
Make Brushing Into a Game
Who said that brushing your teeth is not also a dance party? It’s not two minutes of torture, it’s two minutes of fun! Reading stories, turning on good music, or dancing along to videos - all are great ways to get your child actively looking forward to brushing time. The sillier and more exciting you can make it, the more they will want to do it.
Create a Routine & Rewards for Sticking to it
It is important to brush at least twice a day, each time for two minutes. To get in the habit of doing this, make a chart you can hang in the bathroom. Every 14 checkmarks - or a full week’s worth of good brushing - take your child out for a treat or do something special with them.
Help Your Child Brush Up on Good Habits!
There is no better way to teach your children how to brush their teeth like a pro than by bringing them into the pros. At Smile Kids! Pediatric Dentistry we are waiting to show you just how important - and easy - it is to practice good dental hygiene so that your child’s smile will always be picture-perfect. Call us today at (276) 663-0065 to schedule an appointment!