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Starting a good dental hygiene regimen from a young age will promote a healthy, lifelong routine for your child’s teeth, tongue and gums. Due to the forgetful nature of children, it typically takes them a while to master the art of tooth brushing. This is why we wanted to give you a few practical suggestions to make the process enjoyable for both you and your child. When all else fails, try these useful tips:
- Start Early: Your child does not need to have teeth to start implementing a solid dental hygiene regimen. Simply passing a soft toothbrush around their gums will serve a very meaningful purpose as it gets them used to the feeling of brushing their teeth before they come out.
- Make a Jingle: One creative way to encourage your child to brush their teeth is by making a jingle. Children are often entertained by the sound of tunes so creating a jingle or song that lasts the recommended 2 minutes, might work for your child. You can also look into purchasing toothbrushes that can play music or light up for the recommended amount of time your child should be brushing their teeth.
- Brush Often: The only way to make tooth brushing a lasting habit is by brushing often. While you may have to get on top of your child to assure they have brushed, it will pay off in the long run. Brushing often and consistently maintains a healthy routine that is sure to last a lifetime.
- Inspect: If your child is already independently brushing their teeth, that is great! Just be sure to inspect their teeth regularly to be certain they have done the job correctly. If you notice that your child needs some touch-ups, this would be the time to go ahead and assist them with that. You should always express how proud you are of them for taking such good care of their dental hygiene and showing them where they can improve and how they could brush more effectively.
- Give Options: Feel free to bring your child to the store with you so that they could pick a toothbrush of their own. Your child should have a positive tooth brushing experience so giving them the freedom to choose a toothbrush of their own will promote an excitement factor that will surely make a big impact. There are also many flavored tubes of toothpaste on the market that they can choose from. Be sure to always read the labels and stay away from harmful chemicals in certain toothpaste. If you have any concerns, ask your child’s pediatrician for advice.
- Hands Off: As your child grows and becomes more mobilized, they may start to grab your toothbrush and become curious. If you notice this, you can give them a soft-bristled brush (or two) of their own to hold and use. This will assimilate them to become familiar with the feeling of putting a toothbrush in your mouth and using it.
- Explain the Process: We encourage parents to talk to their children about the importance of dental hygiene. While you help them brush, have them look in the mirror and show them those teeth that are most likely to be neglected (especially the tricky teeth in the back) and how they can be sure to put more emphasis on cleaning them. Remember, your goal as a parent when it comes to implementing a dental hygiene routine for your child is to leave no plaque unturned.
While it can be a challenge to implement a solid dental hygiene routine for your child, it is worth any obstacles you may face. Some children adapt to their tooth brushing routines quicker than others however, by consistently following these tips, you are sure to have an independent brushing prince or princess in no time!