This couldn't be further from the truth! The habits your children develop now will follow them the rest of their lives. That's why it's so important to make sure they learn to brush and floss properly. Here are some tips for helping young children develop good dental hygiene habits.
Dental care should begin as soon as the child's first tooth appears. Even though your child will be too young to understand the process, getting them used to the toothbrush and the sensation of brushing early will help build a lifetime of good oral health habits. The American Dental Association advises cleaning babies' teeth with water and a soft, child-size toothbrush from the time the first tooth appears up until two years of age. Between ages two and six, a pea-sized dollop of fluoride toothpaste can be used. Parents should always supervise their children while brushing, both to see that the job gets done and to ensure that they do not accidentally swallow the toothpaste.
Set a Good Example
As soon as your child can brush their teeth on their own, start brushing along with them. This will help them see that brushing is an important adult activity they should want to participate in. Plus, it will give you something productive to do while supervising their daily dental care routine.
Get Kid-Friendly Tools
In order to make dental hygiene more fun, you should consider investing in some of the many kid-friendly toothbrushes, toothpastes, and flossers. You should definitely use flossers instead of regular dental floss because they are easier for kids to handle. Kids' oral care items come branded with just about every cartoon character imaginable. Some toothbrushes spin, play music, or have moving parts that make them almost like a toy. You might consider having a stash of different brushes and letting your child choose which one to "play" with each time they brush.
Make It a Game
Tooth brushing is boring for adults, so it's no surprise that kids hate it too. One way to prevent your child from blowing through the brushing in two seconds flat is to turn it into a game. Try using a smartphone app like Brush DJ or Star Teeth, which challenges kids to brush along to a song or video for the recommended two minutes and helps the time pass faster.
In order to make dental hygiene into more than just a chore, offer rewards for good technique and good behavior. For example, you might award points for each brushing session completed without complaining, or for each time your child remembers to floss without being reminded. When you child accumulates enough points, you can offer them a reward like a new toy or a special snack.
Ensure Dental Visits Are Positive
Children should have their first dental visit by the time they are 1 year old. In order to set the stage for many happy dental checkups down the road, be sure to select a non-threatening, kid-friendly dentist in San Diego who can deliver a positive experience. You can also use various videos beforehand to help your child understand what to expect from their first visit to the dentist.