How to Teach Your Child Good Dental Hygiene Practices

Dental hygiene plays an important role in our overall health and it’s important that parents pass along good dental hygiene practices to their children. Unfortunately, children don’t come with an instruction manual, and knowing when and how to start brushing your child’s teeth can feel overwhelming. If this sounds like you, then you’ve come to the right place. With some helpful tips and tricks, you’ll have no problem keeping your child’s dental hygiene in check.

Know the Proper Toothbrushing Techniques

Even as adults, many of us don’t actually know the proper way to brush our teeth. If you plan to teach your children how to keep their smiles well cared for, then it’s good to refresh yourself on the basics of tooth brushing. Many dental professionals recommend brushing your teeth for two minutes. This may seem like a long time, but it helps to think about your mouth as four different sections of teeth: upper right, upper left, lower right, and lower left.  When you break the cleaning down into 30-second segments, it doesn’t seem so bad. This will also help keep your child focused and can even feel like a bit of a game. It is also important to teach your child that brushing your teeth in a circular motion is the best way to fully clean them of plaque and food debris. At the same time, be sure to hold the toothbrush at a 45-degree angle to ensure that your gums are getting cleaned as well.

When to Start Brushing Your Child’s Teeth

Believe it or not, it is recommended that you begin brushing your child’s teeth as soon as the first tooth comes through. Just because they are baby teeth that will eventually fall out does not mean that keeping them clean isn’t important. As an infant and toddler, you will have to brush your child’s teeth or assist them once they are able to hold the toothbrush themselves. Each child is different, but most kids can brush their own teeth by the age of 5 or 6.

How to Teach Your Child Dental Hygiene

The best way to get your child to brush their teeth is to make it fun. Young children like to mirror older children and adults, so brushing your teeth at the same time as your child can help get them interested. Take cues from your child as to whether or not they want help. If they seem hesitant, you can brush their teeth for them, but if they want to take the lead, let them go first and then take over at the end to make sure their teeth get properly cleaned. Lastly, set a two-minute timer or play a two-minute song while they brush to teach them how long toothbrushing should take. Making this a fun part of their daily routine can help make it something they look forward to and are more likely to cooperate with.

Book an Appointment at Whiting Dental Arts’ Swampscott, MA, Office

Even if your child is eager and doing a good job brushing their teeth, they still need regular dental checkups! Whiting Dental Arts in Swampscott, MA, has been the North Shore’s trusted family dental practice for generations and we are currently accepting new patients. Contact us today to schedule an appointment!

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