Good Oral Hygiene

8 Tips for How to Teach A child to practice Good Oral Hygiene.

Towards the end of the toddler years, ramp up your teaching efforts so your child understands the importance of oral health and knows what to do to achieve it. Not sure where to start?

Try these 8 tips for teaching your child oral hygiene:

1. Let your child brush their own teeth but supervise their efforts until age 7 or 8 when they’re able to brush effectively. Having them brush in the mirror can help them see what they’re doing.

2. Use a toothbrush timer app or an actual physical timer to help kids brush their teeth for two full minutes each session.

3. Brush along with your child. Show them how to brush all the way to the back molars and along the gum line.

4. Explain to your child what will happen if they don’t brush their teeth or brush them well enough. Talk to them about the causes of tooth decay in children, what cavities are and why it’s best to avoid them. Don’t scare them or use terms like “drill” or “hurt” when talking about the dentist. Instead, give them an overview of why oral hygiene is so important using kid-friendly, positive terms.

5. Just like with brushing, floss for your child until they have the dexterity to do it on their own, usually around age 10. Once they’re older, you can floss your teeth in front of them and walk them through the technique.

6. Fun, kid-themed toothbrushes and tasty toothpastes can go a long way in helping kids get excited about oral hygiene. As for the best toothpaste for kids, we recommend a fluoride toothpaste with the ADA seal of approval.

7. Keep up with regular check-ups and cleanings at the pediatric dentist. We’ll make sure your child’s teeth and gums are healthy and evaluate how they’re doing with brushing and flossing. We’ll also educate you and your child on a variety of oral hygiene topics, including diet, homecare, fluoride for kids, oral habits and more.

8. Make flossing and brushing teeth for kids’ fun. You can follow all of the guidelines in the world for how to teach a child to practice good oral hygiene, but if brushing and flossing are constantly a negative experience, they won’t want to do it. Things like brushing to two minutes songs, brushing teeth as a family and turning oral hygiene into a game can make kids more likely to stick with it and want to learn.

Following our tips for how to teach a child to practice good oral hygiene and talking about oral health from an early age will encourage kids to develop excellent habits that can last a lifetime. If you’re looking for the best pediatric dentist or you’d like personalized guidance to help your child maintain a strong, bright smile, schedule an appointment at ABC Kids Dental Group.