Having a healthy mouth in adulthood starts at a young age. You want to start your kids on the right foot by instilling proper brushing habits early on. But how do you get your kids to care for their teeth properly?
Make a Routine Starting as Early as Possible
One of the best ways to encourage your kids to practice good oral hygiene is to start them early. You should get your kids in the habit of caring for their mouth or having you care for it as young as possible. When they are infants without teeth, this involves using a damp and soft cloth to wipe their gums. Once the teeth start coming in at about six months old, start brushing their teeth. Start flossing when teeth begin touching.
By starting these habits early, they will be the only thing your kids remember. It will be a set part of your kids’ routine, and they will expect to do it.
Practice What You Preach
Kids always look to the adults in their lives as an example, even if they are not obvious about it. This means that your kids are more likely to take their oral health seriously if they see you taking care of yours. While there are exceptions, you should see better results if you brush and floss regularly.
You can even add an element of fun to it or make it obvious that you brush and floss just like them. Do your nightly oral hygiene routine together and call it part of their “big kid” routine. Or even face each other and pretend to be looking in a mirror while you brush.
Choose the Right Toothbrushes and Toothpaste
You may not realize it as an adult, but many kids aren’t a big fan of the minty flavor of most adult toothpaste. The taste tends to overpower children’s palates. Because of this, there are plenty of yummy flavors for kids’ toothpaste for you to choose from. Some experts suggest buying several flavors so your kid can choose a different one each day. This creates variety and makes your kids feel in control.
Don’t just be picky about the toothpaste. You should also opt for toothbrushes that are designed for kids. These will be softer than adult toothbrushes and be smaller. This size makes it easier to fit them in your kids’ mouths and hands. To make your kid even more interested in brushing, let them choose their toothbrush or look for one in their favorite color or with a favorite character on it.
Use Music or Audio to Brush for the Right Amount of Time
It is no secret that dentists like Dr. Sharma suggest brushing for two minutes each time, including 30 seconds in each quadrant. That is a lot of time for a kid, and even adults are tempted to skip it. Luckily, you can make the timing part fun. Find a song that is about two minutes long and make it your nightly toothbrushing song. Or set a fun timer. There are also kids’ toothbrushes that play music for the right amount of time. You could even tell your kids a story as they brush their teeth.
Don’t forget to schedule your children’s regular dental cleanings and appointments! You can start by contacting our dental offices in Chicago today!