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Getting children to brush their teeth is not easy. If your little one doesn’t enjoy getting his teeth brushed, establishing a morning routine and getting him to stay put while you brush his teeth will be hard. He may throw tantrums, and you may want to give up trying, but you must remember that establishing dental hygiene habits in children from early on is important. Dental hygiene habits can help them understand the importance of caring for their teeth and also alleviate any chances of unpleasant mouth odour and cavities at an early age.
Read on to know why you need to take care of your child’s teeth and how you can get your child to brush his teeth.
Why Do You Need to Take Care of Your Toddler’s Teeth?
Here’s why you need to maintain good dental hygiene for your child.
- Your little one’s teeth will help him chew and speak efficiently.
- Your toddler’s baby teeth prepare the gums and jaws for the eruption of permanent teeth.
- Healthier gums can lead to proper teeth alignment in your kid.
- It prevents cavities and also builds a dental hygiene habit that can last well into adulthood.
When to Start Brushing Your Child’s Teeth
Oral hygiene can begin at an early age. Right from when your kid is an infant you can clean his mouth after each feeding session. You can do this by cradling his head in one of your hands and use the other hand to gently wipe his mouth with wet gauze, sanitized cloth or a xylitol wipe. When you notice the first teeth appear in your baby’s mouth, you can begin the brushing routine.
Points to Keep in Mind While Beginning to Brush Your Child’s Teeth
As you begin the teeth brushing routine for your kid, here are a few things that can be kept in mind.
- When brushing your child’s teeth, use the toothpaste in quantity as recommended. The amount of toothpaste used for children between 0 and 3 years of age should not be more than a smear or the size of a grain. For kids between the ages of 3 and 6 years, a pea-sized amount of toothpaste is recommended. When picking a toothbrush for your child, make sure it has a small head and soft bristles.
- Make your child stand next to the sink. Let your child look at himself in the mirror while brushing his teeth.
- Check your toddler’s mouth for any plaque build-up near the gums.
- Ask your toddler to open his mouth wide to check for any cavities.
- Ask your toddler to spit out the toothpaste after brushing.
- Replace the toothbrush every three or four months or when it is worn out and frayed.
- Encourage your kid to brush twice a day, once in the morning and once before going to bed.
How to Brush Your Toddler’s Teeth
You will need to teach your child how to brush his teeth the right way with regular suggestions. A good way to do this is to stand with your kid as he brushes and guide him. If he is too young you can brush his teeth. Keep in mind the following suggestions as you brush his teeth.
- Brush gently in small, circular motions.
- Hold the brush at a 45-degree angle toward the gum line and move it back and forth in a circular movement.
- Start with the teeth at the back and move to the front.
- Place the tip of the brush in an upright position while you brush the back of the front teeth on the upper and the lower jaws.
- Clean the margins of the gum gently.
- Brush the tongue softly to clear out any bacteria on the surface.
- Encourage your toddler to spit out the toothpaste.
- Help your child clean the sink once he’s done brushing his teeth.
- After every use, clean the toothbrush and let it dry.
Tips for Brushing Your Toddler’s Teeth
Getting little ones to do the right thing can be hard, but brushing teeth is a habit that needs to be formed early in life. If your toddler doesn’t enjoy brushing his teeth, here’s how you can get him interested.
- Let your toddler choose his own brush and toothpaste. A colourful brush and toothpaste that tastes good and has his favourite characters on it can encourage him to voluntarily brush his teeth.
- Brush with your child and let him observe how you do it. You never know, he might enjoy brushing his teeth if he has some company.
- Make it fun with peppy music or by humming his favourite tunes.
- You can also get an attractive battery-powered toothbrush or toothbrush that play tunes until it is time to stop.
- You can go a step ahead and allow your child to practice on you. Even better, you can get him a toy and help him practice brushing on it.
- Create a game while brushing. You can make brushing exciting by inventing little imaginary games where your child is defeating the germs and bacteria inside his mouth.
- Stand in front of the mirror and let your kid watch himself brush.
- Award him with praises or little rewards like stars for brushing.
Your child’s dental health is as important as his physical and mental health. While your child may not enjoy brushing his teeth, you will have to try to make it interesting for him so that he gets into the habit of brushing his teeth daily. Try the above methods and help him brush his teeth daily for his good oral health in the long run.
Also Read: Personal Hygiene for Kids