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How To Introduce Kids To Brushing Their Teeth

As adults, we brush our teeth without thinking. Muscle memory takes over; it’s something we do automatically. But if you slow down and analyze what you’re doing, you realize it’s not as simple as it looks.

You teach your kid how to walk, talk, and how to sing their ABCs. It’s time to teach them how to brush their teeth! Here’s how to do it:

Teach the Importance

Did you know that 50% of kids ages 6-8 have had a cavity?

Your child might have a hard time understanding why dental care matters. They aren’t thinking about how important their smile will be in 10 years from now – they’re thinking about how much they’d rather go play than brush their teeth!  Otherwise, they may find themselves looking for an implant dentist in chattanooga when they grow old because of missing teeth.

When you’re explaining it to them, remember to speak in terms that they will understand. For example, you could talk about how poor oral health causes pain and sensitivity. A clearer way to phrase that would be, “Remember when you hurt your arm/leg the other day? If you don’t brush your teeth, they will hurt, too!”  

Brush Together

Brushing your teeth is better together! This makes the task something to look forward to rather than a chore; your child gets to spend time with you, doing an activity together.

You can find ways to make this time more fun. Does your child like to dance? Play one of their favorite songs while you brush together! Or, make up a silly rule; once the 2-minute timer is up and you’re done brushing, you have to make a silly face.

Simple things like this turn teeth brushing into a fun activity rather than a chore.

Give Them Options

Healthy habits start at a young age – the sooner they start brushing their teeth, the better! Daily brushing is an essential part of dental care for your child.

Even when your child refuses to brush their hair or eat their vegetables, tooth brushing is non-negotiable. Still, it helps to give them some choice in the matter. A few ways they can customize their routine include:
  • Choosing which times to brush. Let your child pick if they want to brush before or after they get dressed.
  • Selecting a toothbrush. You’ll find all kinds of colorful toothbrushes for kids at the store. Whether your child prefers a manual or electric brush, let them be the one to pick it. This will encourage your child to brush more often.
  • Picking a flavor. Once they’re older, you can switch to mint, but let them use flavored toothpaste while they’re building the habit.

Gentle Reminders

Brushing your teeth is a lot to learn at once. Your child might have trouble remembering when to brush their teeth, how to do it, or for how long. While they’re learning the basics, you can put up reminders to help them out.

Print out a few pointers, and laminate them; then, put them on the bathroom walls. You might want to use colorful paper or interesting fonts to catch their attention. Use prompts like:

  • Brush for 2 minutes!
  • Remember to brush your tongue!
  • Brush once in the morning and once before bed!

The First Dental Appointment

You might be wondering: What age should you bring your child to the dentist? We suggest booking a dental appointment once their first tooth emerges. Show your child that the dentist is nothing to be afraid of. We suggest going to a children’s dentist who knows how to put anxious kids at ease.

Who knew that brushing your teeth could be fun? With these tips, you might find yourself looking forward to your oral health routine, too. And before you know it, your kids will be brushing their teeth all by themselves!