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How To Teach A Toddler To Brush Their Teeth?

As soon as children start to get their teeth, those teeth need to be cared for. As a parent of a young child, you should brush their teeth for them at first. But how do you make the switch and have your child brush their teeth on their own? Making sure that they learn good tooth brushing habits early in life is crucial, so here are some tips to make teaching tooth brushing simple.

How To Teach A Toddler To Brush Their Teeth?

how to teach a toddler to brush their teeth

how to teach a toddler to brush their teeth

Teaching the Proper Technique:

Teaching your child to brush their teeth is a team effort. Your pediatric dentistry specialist can help show your child the best way to brush their teeth, and they will check for signs of good oral hygiene at every appointment. At home, parents can supervise their child’s teeth brushing and make sure they are doing it properly. To encourage proper brushing, here are some key things to show your child:

  • Help your child position the toothbrush at a 45 degree angle from their gums.
  • The toothbrush should be moved gently back and forth along the gums and teeth with short strokes. Make sure your child does this for the inner and outer surfaces of every tooth.
  • Place the tip of the toothbrush in an upright position to reach behind the front teeth.
  • Brush the tongue to remove bacteria and freshen breath.

Parents should supervise their children while they brush to make sure they are brushing thoroughly and correctly. If your child holds the toothbrush improperly, make sure you correct their form.

Key Tips for Happy Teeth:

There is more to brushing teeth than just the brushing. As a parent, you can help teach your child about every aspect of their tooth brushing routine to keep their teeth as healthy as possible. Some important points to remember when teaching tooth brushing include the following:

  • Children aged 3 to 6 should use a pea sized amount of toothpaste. Once they’re older, they can use a little more toothpaste.
  • Use a soft-bristled toothbrush for children. Toothbrushes with harder bristles may be too abrasive.
  • Make sure to replace your child’s toothbrush every three to four months or when the bristles get frayed.
  • Teach your child to brush their teeth twice a day for two minutes each time.
  • Teach children to spit out toothpaste and rinse their mouths with water.
  • The Partnership for Healthy Mouths, Healthy Lives recommends that you supervise your children’s teeth brushing until they are 8 years old.

Encouraging Healthy Habits:

how to teach a toddler to brush their teeth

how to teach a toddler to brush their teeth

As a parent, you know the benefits of proper tooth brushing, including preventing tooth decay. However, children will likely be less motivated by health reasons. Try making tooth brushing time a little more fun for your child. If your child looks forward to brushing their teeth, they will be more likely to do it.

The simplest way to brighten up tooth brushing is by getting your child a fun toothbrush or toothpaste. Let them pick out a brush in their favorite color, or find a fluoride toothpaste that features their favorite cartoon character. When they have fun tools to work with, it makes tooth brushing less like work and more like play.

If that’s not enough to motivate your child, try an incentive. Create a chart to track your child’s habits, and have them place a sticker for each time they brush their teeth. Set a reward if they complete a goal. For example, if they brush their teeth twice a day for a whole week, provide a reward, such as going to that new animated movie they’ve been dying to see. Eventually, the habit will stick and they won’t need the promise of a reward to remember to brush.

Conclusion:

Helping your child learn the proper way to brush their teeth will set them up for a lifetime of good oral health. Supervising your child’s brushing and working with your pediatric dentist is the best way to establish healthy habits early in life.

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