How to Brush Your Child's Teeth
March 13, 2017
What's the best dental advice we can give to a parent? Start young--children's oral health is the key to a lifetime of healthy smiles.
When and how should you brush your child's teeth? The Dakota Family Dentistry team presents brushing basics, including tips for the reluctant toothbrusher.
When do I start?
First tooth sighting equals first tooth brushing. Baby teeth usually appear at around six months, and all baby teeth should be visible by two years of age. Your child’s first adult teeth appear behind the baby teeth at about age six, and the first baby teeth will start to fall around the same time.
How do I do it?
Kid's oral health begins with a soft-bristled children's brush, and a rice-sized dab of toothpaste until age 3, and then pea-sized after that. Be gentle and thorough, making sure to brush each and every tooth. There's no reason for your child not to brush themselves but, after they’ve finished, you might want to make sure the back teeth are cleaned. Our dental advice: cradle your child’s head and brush their teeth from behind – it may help you to reach the top and bottom rows.
How often do I do it?
Your child should brush their teeth twice a day. This also helps them develop a routine. The morning brush can be before or after breakfast, but tooth brushing should always be the last thing a child does before hitting the hay.
Tips for a reluctant brusher
Conscientiousness is catching! Mom and Dad should be enthusiastic about tooth brushing. Make some noise and the kids will want to join in the fun!
Teach by doing. Bonus: Your oral health will benefit from the class.
Warn, and repeat, that it's nearly bed and brushing time.
Don’t ask, tell. ‘‘Brush, please!" It's not a matter open to be questioned or rejected.
Buy fun-looking brushes and toothpaste. Children's toothbrushes are often character-themed and, by age 4, may include electric toothbrushes. Disney, Star Wars, Sponge Bob--there's a toothbrush for every kid. Your dentist may have a range of character-themed toothbrushes, and can provide great dental advice for the best ones.
Sing a little song or watch a 2 minute video while you brush. Lyrics adapted to well-known songs will make your kids think they are playing a game.
These are your kids' teeth, not yours. Get them involved in the process. Let them pick their favorite character-themed brush and choose their own toothpaste. With a bit of help, they can put the toothpaste on the brush, fill their rinse glass, etc.
And don't forget--Praise, Praise, Praise!!
To find out more about children's oral heath, call for a free consultation with Dakota Family Dentistry. Our friendly staff is ready to offer the best dental advice for your family's needs. Telephone: 605-352-6999
Last Modified: 03/13/2017 1:58:05 pm MDT