According to recent research, more young children are having few or no cavities, compared to thirty years ago. Parents and dental companies have done a great job at taking care of their children’s teeth – and so have the children themselves. This is not a reason to rest on one’s laurels, though.
Even if people’s tooth health is generally getting better, it’s still important to introduce the toothbrushing habits that will sustain this change for the better. Below, we have gathered
Make it fun
To make it more fun for your child to start brushing their own teeth, the Texan family dentist Nirvana Dental recommends that you actually let them practice brushing your teeth. How fun wouldn’t that be for them? Doing it on themselves is one thing; getting unrestrained access to the powerful big teeth of their parents unlocks a new world of play and engagement for them.
Your kids should feel that brushing their teeth is just as important as taking showers or washing their hands after going to the bathroom. You could begin the era of self-toothbrushing by letting them choose what brush they want, as well as toothpaste with a taste they love. Let them have a go at brushing their teeth, but always make sure to do it yourself also, to ensure good results.
Two times a day
Brushing one’s teeth every morning and evening is usually enough for most grown-ups and children. If you suspect that more is needed, you should check with your family dentist next time you meet them, and ask for their opinion. They might make further suggestions about the dental care of your child, or they might say that you’re already doing enough.
Make a gradual change
To reduce the amount of friction your child feels when learning to brush their teeth, the Norwegian dental clinic Tannlegene i23 recommends that you make it a gradual transition. They hear of many parents who talk of their children crying and not wanting to brush their own teeth, and on their website Tannlege Jessheim, they feature good advice about how to successfully make the change. One of the crucial tips is to move gradually from brushing their child’s teeth to having them do it themselves.
The best time for starting to teach your child to brush their teeth is when they are eleven to twelve years old. To make a gradual change, you can suggest that you brush their teeth in the morning, and then they do it on their own before going to sleep.
Brush their teeth for long enough
A simple rule of thumb for toothbrushing is to do it for two minutes. By putting on a happy toothbrushing song (there’s usually some version of it in most countries), you can stimulate fun and enjoyment while your kids are getting ready to sleep – with teeth as fresh as can be.
Summary of the lessons:
- Make it fun for your children; they’ll be happy to brush their teeth as long as you make it enjoyable for them
- Begin early, and teach them the value of lifelong toothbrushing
- Start and end each day by brushing your children’s teeth – two times a day is the rule
- Make a gradual change, so that it won’t be too uncomfortable and scary for them
- Brush their teeth for long enough, perhaps with the assistance of a happy song