TIPS FOR BRUSHING
Brushing your teeth is an integral part of your oral healthcare routine. It is also just as important for your child. The ADA recommends that everyone brush at least twice a day for two minutes each time. However, getting your child to brush every day, and to do so properly, can pose a bit of a challenge. At National Dental Oakland Gardens, we have compiled a few tips to help your child.
PICKING A TOOTHBRUSH
When you go to the store and pick out a toothbrush for yourself, you probably don’t spend too much time thinking about it. However, if you look at the toothbrushes for children, you’ll quickly notice that they are bright and colorful. Many of them have characters from popular kid’s shows on them. Even if you know your child’s favorite color or their favorite character, bring your child along with you when you shop for their toothbrush. Let them pick the one that they want. With this freedom, your child will be more apt to want to use their toothbrush. Just make sure that the toothbrush has soft bristles and a small head, designed for smaller mouths.
ADD SOME MUSIC
Just like you, your child should be brushing for two minutes every time they brush. However, it can be boring for your child to just stare at a clock waiting for two minutes to go by. You can make it fun by adding some music. Check online for brushing songs. There are plenty that are sung to the tune of other popular kid’s songs. Alternatively, you can download an app on your cell phone that will play music for two minutes while they brush.
READ A BOOK
There are all kinds of children’s books that are written to teach them a specific lesson, or help them to learn something new. There are also books about the importance of brushing your teeth, as well as proper technique. The characters are fun and are put in funny situations. Before your child begins to brush their teeth, select one of their favorite books, and read it to them while you supervise their oral hygiene routine.
If your child responds well to rewards, a sticker chart may be a good option for you. Every time your child brushes their teeth, they can add a sticker to a calendar. After they have completed a full week of brushing, they can then earn a reward. This doesn’t have to be anything tangible. Offer a prize, like picking out the movie for family movie night. You may also consider letting your child save up their prizes and trading them in at the end of the month for a trip to the zoo or the museum.
Children pay closer attention than you might think. They will imitate what you do. You can take advantage of this by brushing with them. Help them to apply the appropriate amount of toothpaste. Show them the appropriate technique. If they see you brushing regularly, they are more likely to adopt the habit as well.
KEEP AN EYE ON YOUR CHILD
It will take a while for your child to get the proper technique down, so you will need to monitor their brushing. For young children, stay with them, and let them brush by themselves. You should go back over their teeth just to make sure they have been cleaned everywhere. By the age of 6 or 7, your child should be able to brush on their own. They should, however, still be monitored from a distance until about the age of 11.
By working with your child to develop good brushing habits now, you can help them to develop good habits that will provide them with a healthy, beautiful smile their whole life. For more information, call National Dental Oakland Gardens today at (718) 407-0574!