Good oral hygiene from infancy sets the foundation for lifelong oral health.
Set your child up for a lifetime of healthy smiles by helping them to form good dental care habits early. Regular brushing is essential to oral health, but not all children grow up wanting to brush their teeth. The kid’s dentists at Midtown Dental want to help you develop good dental hygiene habits in your kids. Keep reading for our tips to help you develop good oral care habits with your kids.
1. Choose the right tools for kid’s dental hygiene.
Baby teeth are tiny, so it’s important to use an infant/baby toothbrush with a pea sized amount of children’s fluoride toothpaste. Choose a fluoride toothpaste that will taste good for your child, and taste it yourself before giving it to them. Remember, the minty fresh flavour you enjoy might not appeal to your your child’s sensitive taste buds—you may need to try more than one before you find one that they enjoy. When they are old enough, including them in the process of selecting the toothbrush and the toothpaste can help build excitement about dental hygiene.
2. Introduce your infant to a toothbrush early.
As soon as your child begins reaching for and grasping things, which could be as early as four to six months of age, make sure to have an infant toothbrush nearby for them to grab and interact with. If they have a toothbrush that they are drawn to—perhaps it is bright in colour and fun to hold—they’ll want to begin using it, even if they haven’t developed the motor skills to do it quite yet! You’ll still have to clean their gums and teeth for them until they are practiced enough to do it themselves.
3. Set a good example for your toddler and encourage independence.
Kids learn by watching you. Include them in your oral health care routine when they are infants, and make sure they always see you brushing your own teeth. Watching you consistently brushing your teeth and having fun helps them build a positive association with oral care. Kids love the feeling of independence and will want to emulate you. By encouraging them to brush their own teeth, you allow them to experience the reward of good habits and responsibility.
4. Be consistent and patient.
In order for a habit to form, you must be consistent. When you turn oral care into a regular family activity from a young age, the habit of tooth brushing forms naturally for your child. They won’t always want to, but they will learn that it is a necessary part of daily life for anyone with teeth! Remember that it can take anywhere from one to four months to form a new habit, so keep at it, be patient, and your efforts will pay off!
5. Make it fun.
Help your kids get excited to brush their teeth by incorporating movement, music, or simple games into your oral health care routine. What keeps your kids engaged or entertained? Include their favourite teddies, let them wear a fun hat, or sing a silly song about oral hygiene. Find creative ways to make the experience novel or exciting, and be careful not to frame it as a chore.
At Midtown Dental, we care about your child’s dental health!
With these 5 tips, we hope your child’s journey to good oral care habits is as smooth as possible for all of you. When you start early and use the right tools, your young one is already more likely to adopt the good oral health care habits that you demonstrate with consistency and patience. The best thing you can do to keep your child excited about oral health is to make it fun for them! A positive experience at a specialized kids dental clinic, such as Kidtown at Midtown Dental in Saskatoon, can help to inspire your child to want to brush their teeth. If you need support or ideas to keep your child engaged in an oral health care routine, the pediatric dentists at Midtown Dental are excited to hear from your family.