Pediatric dentistry is an area of dentistry that focuses on the oral health of children. Starting good dental hygiene habits early in life is important. As the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention states, more than 50% of children under the age of nine have had at least one cavity in their baby teeth, and…
Teeth Brushing Tips for Your Child From a Pediatric Dentist
Part of being a pediatric dentist is to teach young patients about teeth brushing. It may seem difficult at first, but the key is practice. Consistency with the help of their parents can help young patients perform proper oral hygiene every day. Here are some helpful teeth brushing tips that a pediatric dentist can share.
Teach by example
Children imitate adults. These young individuals learn better if the adults in their lives demonstrate important lessons. Teaching them how to brush may become easier if parents show them how to do it. Kids tend to remember better if the activity is fun. Incorporating entertaining components into teeth brushing can help them retain the correct techniques. This can make children excited about oral hygiene and visits with the pediatric dentist.
Do it for the child first
Young kids do not have the necessary motor skills to practice brushing the right way. The pediatric dentist can encourage parents to do this for the children during the early years. Brushing the child’s teeth well will allow the child to remember where and how to clean them. Children can then practice by themselves later on.
Use the proper tools
It is important for kids to enjoy teeth brushing. This can only happen with the correct tools. A pediatric dentist can recommend a toothbrush that fits a child’s mouth and toothpaste that the child likes. A toothbrush that fits in the child’s small mouth can lessen the struggle. Allowing the child to choose the toothbrush design and toothpaste flavor can increase the excitement for teeth cleaning. Placing timers while brushing can condition the child into brushing for two minutes.
Brushing can be a bonding activity among family members. Young kids can see this as a way to strengthen the connection with family members. This will turn teeth brushing into an activity to look forward to at home or at the pediatric dentist’s clinic. The child will mimic what the adults do. That is why it is important to brush the right way in front of the child. Letting the child brush alone can build self-esteem.
Watch the child brush
Allow the child to brush alone. The pediatric dentist can remind the parents to supervise while the child brushes. Later on, the child will pick up the techniques and motions for proper teeth brushing. Encourage the child to brush in front of a mirror. This will allow the child to see the progress of teeth brushing. Pay attention to the child’s brushing and remind the child if there are skipped steps.
View teeth brushing videos together
The pediatric dentist can incorporate entertaining teeth brushing videos to help kids learn about it better. Children can absorb information better when they watch videos. Choose a musical video that has the correct techniques. The child will imitate the movements of teeth brushing.
Use model teeth
The pediatric dentist can use stuffed toys to demonstrate proper brushing techniques. Choose toys with exposed teeth when doing this at home. This will be good for showing the child where to brush. Demonstrate proper brushing first. Then, the child can brush the toys themselves.
The benefits of teeth brushing at an early age
Motivating young patients to practice good oral hygiene can provide them with many benefits. Children must associate the first dental visits with happiness and calm. Help them become more aware of teeth and gum health by being patient with them while they learn how to brush the right way. The rewards will last a lifetime. Here are the benefits of teeth brushing early in life:
- It becomes part of the bedtime ritual. Teeth brushing will become synonymous with bedtime later on as parents instill the importance of this habit before sleeping. But, setting a consistent schedule for oral hygiene can get them used to it.
- It allows the child to have a good start to dental health. This can prevent serious oral issues later on in life. A teeth brushing routine can help them maintain good dental health.
- It teaches the child that oral hygiene is a personal responsibility. This will make dental care easier as the child develops. It can also help the child maintain a healthy body. Studies show that there is a connection between oral and general health. The child must learn about this early in life. Doing so can help ward off chronic illnesses like heart disease.
- It helps keep baby teeth and new adult teeth healthy. Keeping baby teeth clean can prevent cavities. It can keep the baby teeth in place until the developing adult teeth erupt. Losing baby teeth early can result in dental issues such as crooked teeth.
The mentioned tips from a pediatric dentist can help young patients practice better oral care
It can be challenging to set good teeth brushing habits in kids. Starting at a young age with the mentioned tips in mind can make the task easier and more fun. You can start practicing with your child. They will pick up the techniques straight away.
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