Come, children will tackle toothbrushing with no issues at all, while other kids are reluctant – and they don’t want a toothbrush anywhere near them. There are a couple of things that all children need to do to make sure that when they get to the dentist, their teeth are clean and well looked after.
The earlier that your child starts to take care of their teeth, the better their long-term tooth care will be. The feeling of the brush in the mouth isn’t something natural, and the taste of tangy toothpaste can put children off.
But the earlier they start, the more used to it they will be.
The first dental appointment is usually recommended to happen as soon as the child has a few teeth, but your dentist will be able to advise you on what is best – and why.
If you struggle to get your child to brush, try playing the Blippi Toothbrush song and joining in too!
Sometimes when we get to pick something ourselves, we like it a little bit more. This is especially true for children. In the early days, you should pick the best toothbrush for your baby, but when they get a little bigger, let them choose!
They might also have a flavour preference for the toothpaste, too – if you have the ability to let them pick a flavour, then see what they would prefer to use.
Sometimes having the choice can give children the desire to use the tools.
While the incentive shouldn’t be sweeties, there are ways to make teeth brushing every morning and night add up to something at the end of the week. Make sure the reward isn’t too big, so it won’t be as difficult to scale back the frequency to every two weeks, then monthly, and then every two months until the reward is no longer needed.
It could also be things like extra playtime, a trip at the end of the month – anything to help you and your child get into a routine that works for their oral hygiene.
Children love learning, but sometimes oral care can feel boring. There are some fun videos that you can use to help your child picture and understand things like plaque, bacteria, why flossing is important and more.
Oral health can feel scary, too sometimes, the idea that there are bacteria in your mouth that can upset your teeth. Carefully talk them through it, and answer any questions they have honestly – and if you don’t know – look it up!
No matter what type of day you are having, busy, late, long or an exciting trip away – make sure that the routine of brushing your teeth is always happening. When it becomes routine, they won’t be able to think about a time when they didn’t brush their teeth every day.
One of the most important things is that your child sees you taking care of your teeth too! Don’t ignore your own teeth and gums: Signs Your Gums Need Help – Life of an Auntie And Mum.