Of all the things that are learned during childhood — from trying shoes to how to read and write — proper dental hygiene skills are among the most important. After all, little else has as big of an impact on their lifetime oral and overall health as proper brushing and flossing. Your little one should be ready to brush their own teeth around the time they start tying their shoes, but they will start learning how to do it from the time they are a toddler. Keep reading for your pediatric dentist in Dallas’s tips on how to help a child brush their teeth the right way!
Tips for Toddler Teeth
Toddlers’ brains are kind of like sponges, constantly absorbing and learning from what goes on around them, including the importance of dental hygiene. That means you need to be extra careful that you are cleaning their teeth properly. Start out by letting your child mimic your own tooth brushing — at the same time as you clean your teeth, encourage your child to brush their pearly whites with a soft-bristled brush that has a pea-sized amount of paste on it. Make sure to watch them closely and then give the teeth a once-over for good measure. Help them rinse their mouths and floss between any teeth that are touching each other, too.
Children will not have the proper dexterity to brush their own teeth until they are around the age of six or so. But no matter how confident they feel with the toothbrush, continue to monitor their habits until you are fully confident that they really have the hang of it. Proper brushing involves cleaning each quadrant of the mouth in gentle, circular motions for 30 seconds each. Set an egg timer or stopwatch to ensure that they reach the 2-minute mark each time they brush. Singing the ABCs also works out to about 2 minutes. If you have a hard time getting your child to brush at night and in the morning, keep a progress chart and set small rewards after a couple of weeks of proper oral hygiene.
A Lifetime of Healthy Smiles Starts Early
The majority of children will have developed at least one cavity by the time they turn 11 years old — but tooth decay is completely preventable with proper oral hygiene.
To keep your favorite smile clean and healthy, help them remember to…
- Brush for two minutes, after each meal or at least twice a day
- Floss between teeth daily
- Rinse with an alcohol-free mouthwash for additional cleaning
- Maintain a healthy, balanced, low-sugar diet
- Visit the children’s dentist in Dallas every six months for a checkup and cleaning
Setting your child on the path to a lifetime of healthy smiles will be something that pays off big time in the long run — and it all starts with proper tooth brushing. Follow these tips and feel great knowing you are doing what you can for your child’s growing smile!
Meet the Practice
At Children’s Dental & Orthodontics, a team of Board Certified pediatric dentists offers friendly, high-quality dental care for children of all ages. They firmly believe in treatment plans built on a foundation of prevention, including excellent toothbrushing. To learn more about developing the proper technique or to schedule a checkup and cleaning for your little one, you are invited to contact the dentist for kids in Dallas at 469-331-5645.