Thorough brushing twice a day is essential to your kids’ oral health. Once your toddler is dexterous enough, you can start teaching them to brush their own teeth rather than doing it for them. Learn what to do and which common mistakes to avoid to help them establish healthy habits for life.
Dentists recommend brushing for at least two minutes twice a day. Two minutes can seem like a long time to a child, so if they don’t have a timer, they may only brush for a fraction of that period. Find a song that’s around two minutes long or use a timer to hold them accountable.
Make it fun.
Positive reinforcement will promote good oral health habits much better than making brushing seem like a chore. Get your child excited about brushing by letting them pick out their own toothbrush and paste at the store. Have fun brushing together, practicing on their stuffed animals, or playing music. Reward them if they brush every day for a week.
Use too much toothpaste.
Teach your child to only use a pea-sized amount of toothpaste. Using too much will foam up in your child’s mouth and may make them gag.
Leave them alone too early.
Once your child has learned to brush themselves, continue to supervise them. Older children may say they’re brushing when they aren’t, or they may not target every part of the mouth. Brushing incorrectly every day can have negative long-term effects on their oral health.
In addition to regular brushing, routinely seeing a children’s dentist is vital to your child’s oral health. With 24 years of experience, Dr. Allen K. Hirai at Pediatric Dentistry Kahala offers a full array of dental services in a welcoming and stress-free environment. Count on his team for everything from teeth cleanings and exams to dental sealants and emergencies. Find patient forms on their website, and call (8008) 737-0076 to schedule an appointment.