It’s easy to help your children enjoy a lifetime of dental hygiene and healthy smiles. Just start when they’re young and make it fun. It is never too early to start brushing. In fact, as soon as your child’s first tooth comes in, you can begin by rubbing it gently with a soft cloth or toothbrush.
As more teeth come in, continue this practice every day. You may even want to introduce a brushing song to pique your child’s interest. You will do all the brushing at first, gradually letting your child take on more and more responsibility.
Continue to make brushing time a fun time. You can sing a brushing song, or put a sticker on a chart every time it’s done. For a brushing song, choose one that lasts about two minutes, then your child will learn to brush for an adequate length of time each day.
Make your own brushing and flossing time a part of your child’s day, too. The more your child sees you enjoy dental hygiene, the more he or she will want to imitate you.
Teach your child to use a dot of toothpaste that is about the size of a pea, since young children usually swallow most of the what they use. That way they won’t be ingesting too much toothpaste, which could be unhealthy.
Find a dentist who enjoys working with young children, and take your child in for a first appointment early. You want them to have a happy and successful visit this first time, so they can associate the dentist with fun. Dr. Price likes to begin seeing children around the age of two.
By choosing a dentist who will be sensitive to your child’s feelings, you will help your child avoid the dental phobia that affects as many as one in three Americans. Providing positive early experiences, and making sure you are working with a pain-free dentist like Dr. Price, will help your child see dental hygiene and regular dental care as just another part of life.
Learn more about our work with children at our pediatric dentistry page.