5 Ways to Help Your Child Become Confident with Toothbrushing from the Start
Start an oral health routine early.
Starting your child off with healthy oral hygiene habits can provide them with a foundation for a lifetime of health. Toothbrushing is a vital part of oral hygiene, and how you help your child with toothbrushing in their formative years can have a major impact on their oral health later in life.
To help your child build strong habits that last for years to come, try these five key tips.
1. Start instilling oral hygiene from birth.
When your child is born, they won’t have any teeth to brush. But, this doesn’t mean it isn’t time to consider how to help your child with toothbrushing. Oral hygiene is important even before any teeth emerge, and starting early will familiarize your child with the habit.
From day one, you can gently wash your baby’s gums with a soft washcloth. This helps remove bacteria to promote good health and lets your child get used to the routine before their teeth emerge. Once your baby has two teeth together, you can begin flossing.
Make sure that the washcloth is clean, as bacteria from your baby’s mouth will accumulate if you use the same cloth without cleaning it. A baby’s gums are very tender, so pay close attention in case the cloth you’re using is too rough or irritating. You can always ask your dentist near Omaha for specific tips on infant oral health.
2. Take a closer look at your own habits.
One of the best ways to help your child with toothbrushing is to take a closer look at your own oral hygiene routine. Your child watches you carefully, and they’re much less likely to understand the importance of oral hygiene if you skip brushing.
Simply brushing your teeth immediately before or after brushing your child’s teeth is an excellent solution. Your child will be more likely to pick up on an activity you do together, and you also won’t have to worry about whether your child notices you are brushing.
Make sure to include flossing in your routine as well. This will help your child understand that oral hygiene isn’t just something imposed on children but is instead something that will follow them their entire life.
3. Make toothbrushing fun.
There are many ways you can help your child with toothbrushing by making their routine more entertaining. Using various songs and other methods for timing is one of the most effective options. Not only does a song entertain your child, but it gets them used to brushing for the appropriate amount of time.
Picking the right toothbrush can also make toothbrushing fun. Many children’s toothbrushes feature built-in song timers. Letting your child choose the specific toothbrush they use also helps, and there are many unique designs available.
Additionally, teaching your child more about their teeth and oral health can make brushing more fun. There are plenty of children’s books about visiting the dentist, and you can likely find one featuring your child’s favorite characters. You can also look for toys and games that let your child play dentist and learn while having fun.
Encouraging your child to practice by playing—such as by brushing a stuffed animal’s teeth—can be key.
4. Let your child get involved.
As your child grows older, it can be difficult to determine when it’s time for them to brush on their own. It’s important to gradually transition to independent brushing, allowing your child to get more involved as they develop.
Letting your child hold a mirror to understand what’s going on is a good first step. You can also begin to let them brush and floss for part of the routine while still being sure to handle the actual brushing yourself. From the very start, you can talk about what you’re doing and the techniques involved to help your child build knowledge.
5. Stick to a solid routine.
Sticking to a routine is another excellent way to help your child with toothbrushing. Brushing twice each day, flossing, and carrying out the routine at roughly the same time each day are essential to making good oral hygiene habits stick.
If your child misses days or falls into a slump of only brushing once each day, it can be hard to get back on track.
There are many ways to keep your child on track. A simple sticker chart can motivate your child not to miss any brushing times. Of course, you need to make sure that you don’t forget too, so consider setting reminders on your phone. You can always talk to your dentist near Omaha about guiding your child’s habits as well.
Give your child a strong foundation for oral health.
Developing good oral hygiene habits is just one of the ways you can promote lifelong oral health in your children. Keeping up with routine dentist appointments is just as important to their health and development. You can count on The Tooth Doc to be your caring dentist near Omaha for the entire family. Our experienced team is dedicated to providing comprehensive, anxiety-free care in an advanced office that feels like home. Schedule an appointment today to get started.