Pediatric Dentistry of Suffolk County I & II
Commack (631) 486-6364
Helping your child develop an oral care routine at an early age is the first step in a long road towards healthy teeth and gums. That means if your child is around the age of two, it’s likely time for them to start brushing their teeth on their own! However, we wouldn’t be surprised if your children aren’t excited to brush their teeth by themselves yet. The good news, though, is that with your help, their thoughts can start to change; we recommend using these tips to get started:
Do It Early - The earlier you start this routine with your child, the better. Reinforcing the importance of brushing at an early age will help that information stick. Aim for a routine of brushing in the early morning and before bed.
Pick and Choose - Let your child pick out their own toothbrush. Children’s toothbrushes are made with soft bristles in a variety of fun and whacky colors that they will enjoy. If the toothbrush makes them smile, they are more likely to use it on that smile. Toothpaste also comes in a variety of different flavors and colors. Allowing them to pick out a few flavors will give them options and make brushing more enjoyable.
Separate, but United - Allow your child to put their own toothpaste on the brush and start brushing without your help. This will make your child feel proud that they are doing it all on their own. While they are brushing their own teeth, take out your toothbrush and do the same. Show them how you brush your teeth and which techniques you use. Brush at eye-level for maximum effect. Allowing them to see up close will resonate more with them.
Compliment - Positive reinforcement is key. The more you tell them they are doing a good job, the more likely they will continue with this routine. A fun idea to keep them brushing and flossing would be to create a sticker chart in the bathroom. Everytime they brush and floss, they get a gold star.
Fun and Games - Every person, child or adult, should brush their teeth for a minimum of two minutes per brush. Brushing for two minutes straight may bore your child so make it fun for them. Set a timer and bet them they can’t make it to the buzzer. You can also have contests with them by brushing next to them. See which one of you can create the most amount of bubbles in those two minutes. The more fun they have, the more brushing they’ll do.
Brushing your teeth is the most important thing you can do for oral care, which means instilling a brushing routine in your child at a young age will be extremely beneficial. The more they brush early on, the less of a chance they have to develop cavities or gum disease. At Pediatric Dentistry of Suffolk, we believe every child should brush their teeth and have fun doing it! For more information about pediatric dentistry visit our website. To schedule an appointment for your child give us a call at:
Commack, NY: (631) 486-6364
Medford, NY: (631) 320-0880