Teaching your child how to brush their teeth can be a difficult task. You may meet with more resistance than you had hoped. Sometimes, your kid may not be doing as good a job as you wish. Regardless, you have to keep persisting until your little one gets it right. Here are some tips to help you with it:
1. Let them pick their toothbrush
You may not put much thought to the kind of toothbrush you use, but your little one does. Let them pick a toothbrush they like- it will give them the much needed motivation to brush their teeth as regularly as they should. If they want a brush with their favorite cartoon character, or with their favorite animal on it, get it for them- it will save you a lot of agony when you need them to brush their teeth. Just make sure it has soft bristles because hard bristles can harm your child’s gums.
2. Toothpaste matters
After picking the toothbrush, you then need to choose the right toothpaste. There are toothpastes that are specifically made for toddlers, but you need to ensure the toothpaste contains fluoride. The fluorine in the toothpaste makes your child’s teeth strong. For your young one, use no more than pea- sized toothpaste: too much toothpaste will do your child more harm than good.
3. Let them brush long enough
You should brush your teeth for at least two minutes, and you need to inculcate that habit into your child as well. It doesn’t matter how restless they are, and how impatient they might appear to be, you have to instill it in them. Brushing teeth for less than two minutes means they will probably do a shoddy and unsatisfactory job. It is also dangerous for their oral health, and can have very far reaching consequences: it is a risk you don’t want to take.
4. Buy a battery powered toothbrush
If you are not satisfied with the job that your baby is doing with their teeth, consider buying them a battery powered toothbrush. The revolving brush is sure to remove the plaque and tartar that sticks to the teeth, and which often proves too difficult for your kid to remove. Additionally, most spinning battery- powered brushes are often entertaining: there are those that come with songs that last for two minutes, while others make a sound when two minutes are over. Battery powered brushes are efficient because they are as effective as they are entertaining.
5. Replace their toothbrush often
Part of good oral hygiene involves replacing your toothbrush often, and this is still the case for your child’s toothbrush. As such, be sure to replace their toothbrush every three to four months, or as soon as it becomes old and the bristles become frayed and hard. Also, make sure you replace the brush after they suffer a cold or flu- it will prevent them from catching the illness again.
6. Let them brush their tongue
Teach your child to clean their tongue thoroughly. Did you know that having bad breath often points to the fact that the tongue is not getting cleaned properly? Bad breath can be very embarrassing, and you certainly don’t want your child to undergo the humiliation it brings with it. Also, bacteria are known to make a home in the tongue, so be ensure that your kid cleans their tongue thoroughly. Teach them to clean their tongue well when they are young and they will thank you for it when they are older.
7. Let them spit out all the toothpaste
Ingesting toothpaste can be dangerous for your child, so teach them to spit it all out. If you are not satisfied that they are doing it right, you can have them rinse off their mouth with a little water. It is better that your child uses water to rinse off all the toothpaste rather than running the risk of their swallowing some toothpaste.
8. Make it a routine
It is important that your child learns to brush their teeth at least twice a day – first thing in the morning and right before they go to bed. When they brush in the morning, it will freshen them up, and give them a boost in confidence. It is even more important that they learn to brush their teeth right before bed in order to prevent the destructive action of bacteria when they are asleep. The earlier you instill this habit in them, the better it will be for their oral health.
9. Brush with them
Children learn best through example, so make sure you are setting the right example for them. Encourage them to brush by brushing together with them- they will feel motivated, and they are more likely to do a thorough job than when left all alone. Additionally, when they see you brushing your teeth every morning and evening, they will take it as the norm and will be sure to follow suit.
10. Let the dentist back you up
Ask the dentist to encourage your little one to keep up the effort of cleaning their teeth. The child will certainly feel motivated by the affirmation. Additionally, the authority that a dentist commands in as far as your child’s oral health is concerned will certainly be a great source of inspiration for your baby. As long as the dentist affirms them, they will be sure to keep up the efforts.
Teaching your child how to brush their teeth correctly when they are young is one of the most precious things you can teach them. Oral health is vital in anyone’s life, and the earlier you impress this on your child, the better. You may meet with resistance the first few times you ask them to brush their teeth, or they may do an unsatisfactory job, but you have to keep on.
Sometimes, they might be afraid to do it on their own. At other times, they will question why they have to do it twice every day. But you have to keep up the effort, you have to persist. After a while, they will perfect the art.
After all, doesn’t practice make perfect?