The time has come. Your child’s teeth have made their way through their gums and they’re ready to be brushed. You’re afraid this won’t be a pleasurable experience. More than likely your child won’t like it and they will resist you, causing you to chase them around for a total of 45 minutes with a toothbrush in hand. Toothpaste will be everywhere and clean up won’t be fun. But teaching them to brush their teeth doesn’t have to be scary. We’re here to help you sort out the discomforts of teaching your kiddo oral hygiene.
As a parent, you’re supposed to brush your child’s teeth until they reach the age of 7. That’s right – you’re on the hook for 7 years, but that’s okay! And here’s why.
Making Oral Care Fun
There is a cost benefit in teaching your child to be preventative in maintaining their oral hygiene. The best thing you can do when it comes to brushing their teeth is brushing yours in front of them. This sends a subliminal message that this is a daily routine that needs to be done. You can make this kid-friendly by tap dancing, making funny faces, etc. Showing them that you have fun brushing your teeth will allow them to get the message that brushing their teeth can be a fun activity, as well. Remember, just because the child gets older doesn’t mean this demonstration should stop. Keep having fun with it to ensure this message gets across. Teaching proper oral care is just as important as teaching your child to put a seatbelt on, looking both ways before crossing the street and putting on sunblock while at the pool. Prevention of tooth decay can help save them time and money when they get older. In the end, remember kids do as you do, that’s why it’s important to brush and floss your own teeth in front of them at an early age. This will help improve their knowledge of oral care and it will help your oral hygiene as well.
Baby Teeth Are Important
Also, take into consideration that just because baby teeth will end up falling out doesn’t mean cavity prevention isn’t important. Before the tooth fairy makes her way into your home, proper brushing is necessary. No matter what, cavities – whether developing in baby teeth or adult teeth – are extremely painful and are costly to get rid of. Think of baby teeth like “spot holders” for adult teeth. Keeping your child’s teeth and gums healthy from the start of tooth growth can prevent teeth from being sensitive and growing in crookedly.
Gauze Myth Busted
Stay away from the gauze! At some point or another, you’ve probably heard that you can use gauze to rub down your baby’s teeth. It’s a waste of time and can leave uncomfortable cottonmouth. Yuck! Why waste time using gauze when you can use that time to teach them how to use a toothbrush? If you wouldn’t use it, don’t use it for your child. It can potentially confuse them on what to use as a better option.
Don’t be negative. The worst thing you can do when teaching kids the importance of teeth brushing is threatening your child with the dentist. “Timmy, if you don’t brush your teeth you’ll have to go see a dentist and he’ll have to give you a shot.” The dentist should not be used as a punishment for not brushing teeth. This can cause a life-long phobia of the of the dentist.
Seeing the dentist and brushing teeth should be made to be fun. For instance, turning your child’s favorite song on can help them continue brushing. And if they are having fun, don’t stop them. Let them brush for the entire song period for that extra clean. Eventually, you can cut the brushing down to two minutes.
Don’t forget to keep things timed. Hourglasses are ideal for this because kids below the age of 7 are more kinesthetic. An hourglass allows your kiddo to see how much time is left. Besides, an hourglass can’t be tampered with like a digital timer can.
And lastly, brushing teeth can be made into a family activity while the kids are young. After dinner, gather together in the bathroom for a family brushing session. Have one parent brush the others teeth, or have your child brush your teeth. You can even get the family dog involved and brush their teeth for fun!
Teaching your kids that brushing their teeth doesn’t have to be scary. Mom and dad, it doesn’t have to be a chore for you, either. Visit gcdentalcare.com to set up a check-up for your family today.