Teaching children good dental habits
Good dental habits can be fun if taught correctly. Using too much toothpaste and brushing too hard are common pitfalls among younger children. Parents should supervise and guide their children’s dental habits.
When it comes to good dental habits, the same rules go for children as for adults. Parents should teach children to brush and floss at least twice each day. Children under six, who may not be able to do these jobs well on their own, should be supervised and helped until they have learned to do them properly.
A small, pea-sized amount of toothpaste is best. Too much toothpaste can make lots of foam, which makes it hard to brush properly. When a child is finished brushing they should spit out the toothpaste- swallowing it can cause a condition called fluorsis which can make spots on the teeth.
Children should learn to brush with a light touch. Brushing too hard can push the gums up and make it harder to prevent cavities.
The key is to make it fun. Here are some ideas to try:
- Start a fun routine around brushing. Sing a song about brushing teeth or brush the teeth of your child’s stuffed animals.
- Put a stepstool near the sink that allows your child to see inside.
- Have fun choosing a cool toothbrush. Let your child pick from the great selection of colors, characters and gizmos available today.
- Grab your own toothbrush and brush with energy. Show your children just how fun it is to brush- they’ll want in on the fun.
By playing a positive, active role, you can encourage your child to learn good habits for a lifetime of oral health.