Good oral hygiene is a crucial part of a person’s health. Thus, it is imperative that parents help teach their kids not only to brush their teeth twice a day but also how to do so effectively. Rather than making it a chore, try to make cleaning their teeth a fun and enjoyable experience. To help, Dr. John A. Gerling and Dr. Joseph Ryan of the McAllen Orthodontic Group shares some tips for teaching kids how to properly clean their teeth.
- Start Them Young – The best way for your child to learn how to properly brush their teeth is to start by teaching them at a young age. This allows them to learn consistency and develop a routine while also getting plenty of brushing practice in. Make sure your child knows that brushing your teeth leads to a healthy smile. Also, be sure to discuss cavities, bad breath, tooth decay, and all of the other negatives that arise from improper tooth brushing.
- Make it Fun – This aspect is truly key. If you can make tooth brushing fun and not be viewed as a chore, children will be more inclined to do it. Do it with them! Here’s an idea: pick a song he or she loves that is about two minutes in length. Together, brush your teeth for the entire duration of the song.
- Let Them Pick Out Their Toothpaste and Toothbrush – Just like kids get excited about picking out what they get to wear, let them pick out their toothpaste and toothbrush. Be sure that the toothpaste options you give them to choose from contain fluoride. This way, they have a flavor of toothpaste they like and a toothbrush they are excited about!
- Compliment Them – Positive reinforcement is never a bad idea for children. If you see that their teeth are looking sparkling white, let them know! If you make them feel like brushing their teeth is a skill they are good at, they will be more apt to keep doing it. The self-esteem boost will encourage kids to keep up the good work.
- Find the Right Dentist – Find a dentist who is good at working with kids. You can even ask the dentist to compliment the child’s brushing. They can also give you tips and tricks for improving your child’s oral hygiene care.
If you follow these five simple tips, you will be well on your way to making sure your child is an excellent tooth-brusher! Remember to schedule an orthodontic consultation for your child once they are around the age of 7. This will help determine if their smiles are developing correctly. An oral exam from Dr. Gerling or Dr. Ryan can also determine if orthodontic treatment may be necessary.