How do you get your child to Brush their teeth?

Child tooth - mendelsohn dental

How do you get your child to Brush their teeth?

We all know that brushing your childs teeth is important, but it is something we seem to forget or just put it off till tomorrow.  But we need to be helping our children to brush their teeth twice every day until they are at least 8 years of age, then hopefully by 8 they will be able to do it all alone (with a few reminders from mum and dad).

Babies usually start teeth around 4-7 months, but even before you see teeth in their mouth you should be wiping the gums with a soft cloth twice a day.  This helps to remove bacteria, which can reduce teething problems.  As soon as the first tooth appears it is time to start brushing.  Always using a soft childrens brush.  Remembering to use a soft circular motion – only start to use toothpaste at about 18 months of age and then start by using a child specific tooth paste like “My first Colgate” tooth paste.

As babies become toddlers start to teach your child to brush their own teeth, but always remember you still need to help and make sure they are properly cleaned.  For some parents brushing and flossing their Childs teeth can seem like war, but the alternative can be much worse.  A combination of poor diet, not brushing, not flossing and avoiding the dentist will undoubtedly mean your child will experience decay.  Which means brown or yellow teeth, bad breath, pain and lifelong problems.  So try and ignore the tears and tantrums about brushing and adopt some strategies to make it a fun part of the morning and evening routine.

5 important things to remember

  1. Create a brushing chart –sign off or give a sticker when your child successfully brush their teeth and give a small reward (non-food related).
  2. Play a song during brushing-This helps to get your child to brush for long enough (2 minutes), it is also a distraction.  There are some great tooth brushing apps if you are a tech savvy family.  The following website has some great ideas
  3. Lead by example-Let your children see you brush and floss your teeth
  4. Look for fun products that might help-Funny tooth brushes or holders, children tooth paste with TV characters on them.  Just remember always use a soft tooth brush and low fluoride tooth paste.
  5. Make brushing a game-You can invent and change the rules or create characters and a storyline, as long as your child in interested they will be more likely to accept having their teeth brushed.

My Personal Tips (Heidi Mendelsohn Practice Manager)

I have two young children (5 and 6) and I have had to work hard to make sure that we have got regular tooth brushing into our daily routine. I have found the things that I have listed below have helped my children brush their teeth regularly and it not be a chore.

  • Regularly buy new tooth brushes-getting ones that have their favourite character, or a funny face always helps.  It makes it new and exciting.
  • Try and brush your child teeth at the same time every day so it becomes a routine.  For example we brush teeth straight after breakfast before getting dressed and in the evening we brush our teeth just before bed, before we read a book together.
  • Make it fun and always get involved.  Show them how to do it and always explain to them why we are brushing their teeth (to keep them healthy and strong)
  • Tooth timer-this seems so basic but for both my children this has helped them to brush their teeth for longer. (if you want one just ask reception when you come in, we are more than happy to give you one for your kids-even if you were in for your appointment!)
  • Bring them to the dentist regularly as this helps them to see what there teeth look like and it gives them encouragement to do better or to keep doing well!
  • Set a good example-make sure your children see you brushing and flossing your teeth regularly

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