Starting children off with a consistent oral hygiene routine early on can help create good habits that will last a lifetime.
For most parents having their children brush their teeth willingly can be a daunting chore and often is met with resistance. Regardless of the child’s age, it is important that they know that brushing their teeth and establishing a regular dental hygiene routine is important and will follow through benefiting them into their teen and adult years. This can be easier said than done and as a parent, when diligent with helping their child with a routine, both the child and parent will see how this pays off at the next dentist visit.
Most children lack the coordination and discipline to brush or floss their teeth on their own, especially if they are under the age of 7. If brushing their teeth can be can be made fun, this can go a long way in getting this task done without much fuss.
Here are some ideas that may help.
- Make a special trip to the store and let your child pick out their own toothbrush and toothpaste.
- Create a reward system or chart to track every time your child brushes their teeth.
- Select a toothbrush that makes brushing for 2 minutes fun by having lights go off or music played.
- Play a fun song for 2 minutes to help pass the time while your child is brushing.
- Brush your own teeth to lead by example and have your child copy.
If you are wondering of how often to brush your child’s teeth, there are recommended guidelines by the Canadian Dental Association. Teeth should be brushed twice a day and flossing is also encouraged to be part of their oral hygiene routine.
Children under 3 years of age should have their teeth brushed by an adult. The type of toothpaste used should be determined by the family dentist as it might not be necessary to use a fluoride toothpaste.
For Children between the ages 3 to 6 years it is helpful for an adult to assist the child when brushing. A small amount of fluoride toothpaste, about the size of a green pea can also be used when brushing.
After the age of 7 children can brush their teeth on their own. It is still a good idea to check up on their brushing technique and frequency. It also doesn’t hurt to double check their teeth at bedtime to be certain that all visible signs of food have been removed.
We understand that the process of brushing a child’s teeth or assisting them takes time and might feel frustrating at times. With consistency, your child’s oral hygiene routine will likely become part of their daily routine and you’ll have a family with excellent oral health habits. By being diligent, good results will pay off.
If you have questions or concerns about how to encourage children to brush their teeth, please feel free to discuss them with your North Burnaby Dentist.