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Monday, October 28, 2019

10 Tips for Encouraging Healthy Dental Habits in Children

Photo by jennyfriedrichs (pixabay)

Brushing teeth is an important part of any morning and evening routine. Adults and children alike need to take the time to properly care for their teeth in order to keep them strong and healthy. Baby teeth are no exceptions and teaching proper dental care should start from a young age in order to build a lifelong habit.

Choose the right kind of toothbrush

There are different kinds of toothbrushes and each has an important purpose. For infants and toddlers, look for a toothbrush that is specifically designed for little mouths; these brushes are often smaller than adult toothbrushes and may have differently shaped handles that may help children learn how to properly hold the toothbrush. These brushes should also have soft bristles.

Don't overload the toothbrush

The more toothpaste, the cleaner the teeth - this is not true. When teaching children to brush, don't worry about filling their tiny toothbrushes with fluoride toothpaste. You only need a small amount, as much as a grain of rice or about as big as a pea, depending on the age of your child.

Choose the right toothpaste

Use a children's toothpaste with fluoride in it. It may help to let the child choose their toothpaste, offering them a little control over something like that may make them feel more comfortable with their brushing routine.

Take the time to teach with patience

As with anything that must be taught to children, it is important to teach with patience. Brush your own teeth with your child, this is a good way to show them proper brushing techniques and shows them that this is really something that everyone must be doing. If necessary, brush your child's teeth, then hand them the brush to replicate your movements themselves. Regardless of the movements, the most important part is that the teeth are thoroughly cleaned.

Teaching Proper Dental Care to Kids

Position your child properly

Make sure your child is comfortable and has everything needed to complete the task at hand. If they are a little too tiny to reach the sink comfortably, get a small step stool so that they can reach the sink. Make sure their rinse cup is also within reach.

Use a timer

Brushing for the recommended two full minutes can be trick. Using a timer can ensure that the teeth are thoroughly brushed and shows an antsy child that there is a definitive end to their task.

Make it a game

Making toothbrushing a game is also a good way to help children embrace proper dental hygiene. Earning a small reward for completing the game and task may also be effective for goal-oriented children.

Avoid "sticky sugars"

Some foods are more detrimental to children's children than others. Sticky sugars, like caramel, gum, dried fruit, and toffee should be avoided, as the sugars they contain can sit on the teeth for hours.

Make it an important part of the morning and night time routine

As with any routine, consistency is important to establishing habits. Make time for tooth brushing every morning and every evening. This may mean reconfiguring an existing routine, maybe starting the routine a little earlier. Do not skip brushing, as a break in the routine may disrupt a child's willingness to complete the task the following day(s).

Don't rely on brushing alone

In addition to brushing, make sure you and your child are also flossing. Whether with traditional floss, floss picks, or a water pick, flossing is an important part of good dental care.

Toothbrushing Tips

Find more about the author: Kim Hart

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