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Tips to Help Your Kids Brush Their Teeth More Often

Kids Can Learn That Brushing is Fun

Even from early childhood on, after you have stopped brushing your kids teeth for them, children need to learn how to do this themselves. More importantly, it needs to become important for them to do this on their own. But how do you get them to want to brush?

Some would think that once they are shown how and told that it is important, that kids would naturally just consistently brush twice a day. But studies and observation tells us that is not the case.

There is no doubt that kids need incentives (not candy incentives!) to make this practice a habit. Incentives can range from wanting to learn to simply understanding the importance of the habit.  Our pediatric dentists at coloradosprings.frontrangedentalcare.com/pediatric  think it can be as simple as making all of it fun for them.

So what do kids behaviors tell us? According to the following article, kids across the globe are having early tooth decay due to lack of proper brushing techniques:

England – School pupils to get lessons on brushing their teeth from dentists

Dentists are having to go into Lincolnshire schools to teach children how to brush their teeth.  They are being sent in after the revelation by Lincolnshire Community Health that more than 300 children across the county had to be put under general anaesthetic last year to have rotten teeth removed.

Teachers, dentists and community health services are working to educate parents and children against all the dangers that can lead to that stage.
Senior specialist dental nurse Emma Fletcher said: “It’s very shocking. General anaesthetic is something we want to avoid especially in children for something that is a preventable disease.”

Dentists only put children under anaesthetic as a last resort but fear parents aren’t aware of the dangers of problems reaching that stage.  Read more…

 

The article clearly shows just how pervasive the lack of proper brushing can be.  So how or when do you begin showing your children how to brush their own teeth? In the following article by Yolanda Eddis on the Colgate.com blog, she shares some tips on how to accomplish this:

 

Teaching Your Children How to Brush and Floss

It is important to start oral care at an early age. Learning good oral hygiene habits at a young age is important for long-term oral health. Parents can teach their children how to brush and how to floss by taking some key steps.

When to Start Brushing

Good oral hygiene should begin at an early age. An infant’s mouth can be cleaned after each feeding. Begin by cradling the head with one hand while using your free hand to wipe the baby’s mouth with a clean wet gauze, wet cloth or xylitol wipe. A child’s teeth should be brushed as soon as the first tooth erupts.

General Brushing Tips

  • Brush an infant’s teeth by wetting a soft-bristled, age-appropriate toothbrush with water. If fluoride toothpaste is considered before the child’s first birthday, it is best to first ask a dentist or pediatrician.  Read More Here…

 

As we’ve seen, teaching your kids to brush is important and easy.  But How can we make it fun for them?  If it is fun, they will be much more likely to make it a habit.  One idea is to make the entire activity musical.  Kids love to sing and hum.  And humming a tune or a rhyme can inspire them to brush.  The following is a great video from LittleBabyBum’s Youtube channel combining brushing with a child-engaging tune:

 

 

So there you have it.  A fun way to get your kids to brush.  An extra bonus on that video is that the song is nearly 2 minutes long.  The ideal amount of time to brush.  For a child that is restless by nature (aren’t they all?), two minutes can seem like an hour.  But a little music can make that time pass very quickly for them.  This is similar to a father reading the same story over and over each night for years – at the child’s request.  Or a mother singing nursery rhymes to her children.

Another tip?  Brush together with your child.  They enjoy being part of an activity together.  So join in.

Why not allow your child to choose a toothpaste flavor?  Within reason.  Unfortunately some toothpastes sacrifice safety for flavor so be sure it has the ADA seal of approval and does not contain harmful ingredients.

Have your child choose their own toothbrush as well.  First check with your pediatric dentist so that you can limit the selection to bristles of the proper stiffness and quality.  Then let your son or daughter jump in an choose.  Sometimes this alone makes then actually anxious to get home and use it.

Brushing does not need to be a dreaded chore at the end of the day.  Your child can learn to look forward to tooth care time with mom and dad.  Or maybe at least with the fun toothbrush they were able to select.

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