Proper at-home oral hygiene is the key to great life-long oral health habits. Because of this, it’s best to make sure that you’re teaching your child to brush their own teeth properly.
Brushing teeth properly takes some fine motor control, so most children will not be able to brush their own teeth until they’re about 6 years old, though some can learn earlier. The typical rule of thumb is that your child can start brushing their own teeth once they’re able to tie their own shoes.
But how do you teach your child to brush their teeth properly after doing it for them for so long? In this blog, the team at Knight Pediatric Dentistry will give you some top tips to help you and your child make the transition.
Kids love making decisions and getting to choose their own belongings. A great way to get them excited about learning to brush their own teeth is to let them choose their own toothbrush and toothpaste.
There are tons of unique toothbrushes out there that feature recognizable characters that your kids are sure to love. Also, lots of kid-friendly toothpaste also comes in a diversity of different flavors, which also helps make brushing more fun. Once your child has chosen their very own first toothbrush and toothpaste, it’s time to start brushing.
You’ve been brushing your teeth for so long that it may be instinctive and hard to explain to your child, so we recommend that you and your child “brush up” on your technique with a YouTube video or two. This video is a good starting point!
Kids don’t just learn by watching, though. They learn by doing. So when they’re first learning to brush, you should take turns! You can brush their teeth in the morning, and they can brush their own teeth at night. This way, they can see what you’re doing and how brushing works, and use the proper technique on their own.
Depending on how quickly your child learns, you may only need to do this for a few days, or up to a few weeks.
Even once your child knows how to brush on their own, it’s a good idea to brush alongside them. You’ll be able to observe them and make sure that they are brushing properly and for at least 2 minutes, which is the minimum time recommended by dentists. Not only that, but your kids will be able to watch you and imitate what you do, and ask any questions they may have.
In fact, brushing can be a good time to bond! You and your children can brush together in the mornings and evenings, and make it a family activity with silly songs, teeth brushing games, and even special rewards for consistent brushing!
Although proper at-home dental care is absolutely essential for a healthy mouth, brushing is not the only thing you need to do to keep your child’s mouth healthy.
It is also important to continue seeing a pediatric dentist like Dr. David Knight for an appointment every 6 months. At your child’s routine visits, you can learn more about your child’s oral health, prevent issues like cavities, and track their oral development.
If your child is overdue for an appointment or you’re new to the area, don’t wait. Get a pediatric dentistry consultation at Knight Family Dentistry now. Give us a call at (651) 409-9889 now, or stop by our office at 9950 Valley Creek Road, Suite 150, Woodbury, MN 55125.