Teaching Your Kids to Take Care of Their Teeth
Making the transition from taking care of your child’s teeth to teaching them to manage their own oral hygiene is a challenge many parents face. Make this transition easier with these tips to ensure your child’s teeth will remain healthy and free of cavities.
The Right Age
Your children develop quickly in a short amount of time. With that being said, it isn’t practical to hand over all the brushing and maintaining responsibility to children too young to handle the task. When your child gets their first tooth, allow them to be part of the process. You should be brushing to ensure the job is done right, but allow them to help, understanding what is required. Once your child is old enough to brush their own teeth allow them to do so. This will be beneficial to them in making the transition and continuing the good habits later in life.
Use the Right Tools
Make sure you are giving your child all the tools they will need for success. This includes a toothbrush that has soft bristles, teaching them to use a pea sized amount of their favorite toothpaste, teaching them the basics of mouthwash, and showing them the proper way to floss. All of these tools are essential for healthy teeth. Make sure your child is familiar with these components and can effectively use them to clean their teeth.
Make a Schedule
One of the most difficult transitions children have is learning how to create their own schedule. During the first little while they will need constant reminders as to when their teeth need to be brushed and flossed. Set up a schedule both morning and night, teaching your children to brush their teeth at these times. By making this a consistent thing, your child will more effectively take care of their oral hygiene.
Transitioning to brushing their own teeth can be hard for many children. To ensure they are prepared for the change it may be necessary to deliver awards based on their diligence. These rewards shouldn’t be in the form of sweets or sodas, as this would be counterproductive to the health of teeth, but instead can be simple things such as a trip to the park, a small toy, or even a visit to the movie theater. Encourage your child to brush their teeth twice a day for a whole week to earn the reward.
Teaching your child to brush their teeth is a challenge many parents dread, but it can be done. Start out by giving them some responsibility and an example they can follow. These two very important steps will be instrumental in transitioning your children to taking care of their own teeth.