Every parent must teach their children how to brush and floss every day and make it a part of their daily routine. While it may seem like a tough task, the two most important things that every parent must do is to introduce their children to the idea of brushing their teeth as early as possible and to make it fun.
When to Introduce Children to Toothbrushes
Getting children comfortable with using dental tools starts in infancy. You can run a piece of wet gauze inside your baby’s mouth up to twice a day to start, and then slowly introduce soft toothbrushes and teething toys to allow them to gently massage their gums on their own. By the time they are toddlers, your children will already understand the sensation of children’s toothbrushes and grow accustomed to the texture and flavor of toothpaste.
If you feel stuck, always ask your dentist to help teach your children proper brushing habits during their checkups and cleanings!
Setting Up a Routine
One of the hardest parts of teaching your children dental habits is to make sure that they actually follow a routine. You can make a colorful chart together to track when they brush their teeth. Reward them for consistent brushing and flossing every day with a new toy or a trip to the park. Once your child understands why consistent brushing and flossing is important and necessary, you can start to slowly wean them off the rewards-based system that you put in place. It’s just like taking training wheels off of a bike!
Even when your child seems to be set on a schedule, it’s okay if they occasionally slip up. Don’t get upset about it! Just encourage them to get back on track and to keep up the great work. Keep in mind that it is important to make your child feel excited about brushing their teeth. After all, every time they do it, they’re showing you that they are committed to maintaining their health.
Don’t forget to introduce your child to twice-yearly dental cleanings and checkups from an early age as well. At Overland Park Family Dental, we strive to make our office a fun and welcoming environment for our young patients. We offer toys, video games, and prizes for kids. Pillows and blankets also make your kids’ visit as fun and comfortable as possible. Contact us to schedule an appointment!