Proper dental hygiene is one of the hardest habits to instill in kids. The nightly reminder will become a part of your routine for a lifetime. However, those nightly reminders are one of the keys to your kid’s habits for later in life.
There are several things you can do to develop healthy dental habits for the kids:
- Ask them to brush their teeth twice a day - once in the morning and once in the evening.
- Establish a daily flossing routine. Any teeth that are touching should be flossed, but you can floss the ones with small gaps between them as well.
- If necessary, brush after a meal that is high in carbohydrates or with lots of sugar, including high sugar drinks. If you are not able to brush your child’s teeth, rinse out his or her mouth to remove the particles from the food.
- A soft toothbrush for toddlers is best for a first toothbrush and you only need about a pea-sized drop of toothpaste. Make sure that the toothpaste has fluoride.
- You should replace the toothbrush once a quarter.
- When you brush your child’s teeth, make sure to cover all surfaces, including the tongue. This teaches your child to cover all places where germs and bacteria reside, not just the teeth. Make sure to include the gums in the brushing too.
- When your child turns four or five, it is time to see what has stuck. You will likely need to continue to help for the next few years, but your child needs to start practicing. For best results, you and your child can floss and brush together to reinforce what you have taught.