Helping your child get in the habit of brushing and flossing at the same time everyday is one of the most important things you can do to establish a lifetime of good dental health. But it doesn’t have to be a chore. If you do it right, the time you spend each day on your smile can be a fun time too – in fact, it might even become a ritual you both look forward to practicing together every day!
Here are some important guidelines and helpful tips to make brushing and flossing more effective – and even fun:
- Start by establishing a good routine for yourself and allow your child to watch you brush and floss. Kids love to imitate the adults in their lives so if they can watch you, or an older sibling who has the technique down, they will look forward to learning it themselves. Be sure to get down on their level so they can see exactly what you are doing.
- You can clean your baby’s gums with a wet cloth even before teeth have erupted and this not only clears away bacteria, it also helps your child get used to the idea of having his or her mouth cleaned. Some parents make up a song or a rhyme to make gum cleaning entertaining, or if you aren’t feeling creative, you can play a little game or use a puppet that only visits at brushing time. Whatever you do, the idea is to play and laugh while brushing.
- Let your child choose a special toothbrush or toothpaste. This can make tooth brushing seem like a fun celebration. Playing a special song or finding a fun video about toothbrushing can be helpful too. Some of them are even timed to two minutes so you always brush the right amount of time! Here’s a great Sesame Street video we found:https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wxMrtK-kYnE or you can try the Brush DJ app.
- Remember that until your child can tie his or her own shoes, he/she probably doesn’t have the dexterity to brush properly without your help. Brush for your child, remembering to be gentle and have fun. Be patient and remember that you are setting them up for a lifetime of good oral health when you help them understand that brushing and flossing can be a fun part of the daily routine.
If you have any questions about brushing, please call our Long Island pediatric dental office today. We can set up an appointment for Dr. Ehrenman or Dr. Khan to teach you and your child the best brushing methods.