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Just like eating vegetables or taking naps, teeth brushing for some children is not accepted with much enthusiasm or excitement. Developing a good teeth brushing routine, especially at a young age, is vital in maintaining good oral hygiene. Here are a few helpful tips for you parents trying to convince your kids that teeth brushing is a fun and healthy habit!
Regular Visits to the Dentist
- Start Brushing Early On: Work with your child to establish a clear routine, and stick with it! Communicate with them the importance of brushing their teeth and give them specific reasons why brushing teeth needs to be done every day.
- Show & Tell: The best way to teach is by example. Brush your teeth with your child and show them how to properly brush. Tell them a story so they can remember the proper technique of how to brush. A popular example is using a train wheels metaphor – brush in circles just like choo choo train wheels, left to right, and right to left.
- Pick out a Toothbrush They Love:Take your kids on a trip to the local pharmacy, and let them choose their very own toothbrush. Picking out a cool superhero or princess toothbrush is comparable to getting a new toy, and it will help motivate your kids and get them excited to brush their teeth! Just make sure your child picks out a toothbrush that has soft bristles so it’s not harsh on their gums.
- Choose a Kid-Friendly Toothpaste: A lot of kids are hesitant about brushing their teeth after experiencing overwhelmingly “spicy” toothpastes. The classic mint flavored toothpaste can be too strong for children, so make sure to purchase a toothpaste that is fitting for their age and taste buds.
- Encourage Them to Brush on Their Own: Around 2 years old, encourage your child to brush their teeth on their own. Giving them some independence will make them excited and will help them get into a routine. Don’t worry about the mess, toothpaste cleans up easily!
- Play a Song or a YouTube video: One of the biggest challenges with tooth brushing is getting your kids to brush for a full two minutes. Allow your child listen to a song or watch a YouTube video for two full minutes while brushing. In fact, the 2minX2 is a great resource to use with cartoons and songs that last for exactly 2 minutes. Fun tools like this make it easier to motivate your children to get excited about developing good teeth brushing habits.
- Stick to a Routine: A clear morning and nightly routine help kids learn exactly when and what is expected. Integrating tooth brushing into your normal morning and nightly routines will reduce stress and will eliminate your need to constantly ask “Have you brushed your teeth yet?”
Your children should visit the dentist every six months, or twice per year. Continue establishing good oral hygiene habits with your child, and schedule (and keep) your child’s biannual teeth cleaning
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Raleigh Office: 919-878-0055
Durham Office: 919-493-3355
Chapel Hill Office: 919-929-3996