One of the most important aspects for good oral health is a regular routine of flossing and brushing and it needs to start early. Getting your kids to brush and floss regularly may seem like a battle that you can’t win, but that’s not the case. You can encourage them to form good habits and to take care of their teeth properly. One of the challenges is getting kids to brush long enough, to reach the back teeth and to learn how to floss properly. Not teaching your kids to floss can cause dental decay and cavities later on. When you take your child to the dentist for the first time they will be shown how to floss by the hygienist, but after that it will be up to you as the parent to keep up the routine.
Here is how you can help encourage your children to maintain good oral hygiene.
- The earlier you get started the better. A toddler may not be there to be able to do it all themselves but you can help and the routine of brushing after meals and before bed will become established.
- As kids get older you can show them exactly what happens when they fail to brush and floss. Kids understand visuals better than they do a spoken explanation. You can show them pictures of bad teeth that have been damaged by decay.
- Use a toothbrush suitable for their age. Little kids have small hands and don’t have the dexterity for a big toothbrush. Your pediatric dentist can help you choose the right one.
- Let your child choose their own toothbrush from a selection, it will help them feel included and now there are all kinds of toothbrushes with superhero handles or whatever cartoon character they like.
- Be the example of the behavior you want to see. Brush your teeth with them after meals so they not only learn from you and develop the good habits you want them to have. You are the example that your kids look up to, even when it comes to mundane things like brushing and flossing.
When should your kids start brushing?
Your children should start brushing as soon as they have a few teeth. Once they have teeth then you can get them used to proper hygiene, you need to help your kids have good oral health until they are old enough to manage it themselves.