Good dental health for kids starts when they are just babies. Even though the actual teeth come in on different schedules for each child, a baby actually already has developing tooth buds at birth. Keeping the baby’s mouth clean is as easy as wiping it gently with a wet wash cloth.
Once the teeth start to come in, kids need to learn how to brush their teeth properly. Use these tips to help your child maintain good dental health:
- Use a soft-bristled toothbrush that is designed specifically for a young child. Let kids pick out a fun design, perhaps with a favorite cartoon character so they look forward to using their toothbrush!
- Teach them to sing a song that lasts at least two minutes. Then they can sing that song in their heads while they brush. It’s important to remember the 2×2 rule – brush twice a day for two minutes each. Music also gives them something to look forward to when it’s time to brush.
- Design or download a tooth brushing calendar. They can check off the box every time they brush and floss, add stickers, and color the designs on the calendar each day. The toothbrushing calendar is a fun and rewarding activity.
- Pick out a toothpaste that contains fluoride. Toothpaste comes in a variety of colors and flavors that can help kids look forward to brushing. An adult should put the toothpaste on the brush, to make sure there is not too much. Then teach kids how to use the toothpaste safely and effectively.
- Make sure kids reach all of their teeth, including the back teeth, when brushing. Often they will brush the teeth they can see but it is important for them to get them all!
- Teach kids how to floss properly. Let them pick out their own floss to encourage them to use it on a regular basis.
Good dental health starts early. Use these tips to ensure your child’s teeth are clean and healthy. And, don’t forget the regular dental visit for a cleaning and checkup!