Habits and some fun can make teeth cleaning feel less like a task
Effective oral hygiene not only prevents cavities; research shows it can prevent cardiovascular disease, pregnancy and birth complications, and pneumonia. That’s why it’s a good idea to start caring for the mouth at a young age to build a lifetime habit. Children are like sponges. They absorb all the information they see and hear on a daily basis. Read ahead for tips to create a lifetime of love for oral hygiene at a young age.
- Your baby is always watching you. Let your child watch you clean your teeth every day so it becomes part of the daily norm. If they see you flossing and brushing on a regular basis, they won’t resist the idea once you introduce them to a toothbrush.
- Routines are critical to child development. A consistent routine will benefit your child emotionally, socially, and cognitively. Establish a teeth-cleaning routine as early as you can. Once breakfast is over, head to the bathroom with your child and clean your teeth together. Let them practice on you if they want. Allow them to experiment with the toothbrush on their own. Then, you finish up the job with some proper brushing.
- Use their favorite character to make teeth cleaning more fun. And give them choices. Take them to the store to choose their own toothbrush. They can pick one with their favorite cartoon character or in their favorite color.
- Get a second “play toothbrush” for their doll or stuffed animal. Your child can practice brushing on their toy.
- Have fun with teeth cleaning! Sing a song to your child while you brush their teeth. It will make teeth-brushing more fun and pass the time in a more pleasant way.
- Around age 5, your child will lose their first tooth. This is a fun way to introduce them to the Tooth Fairy. There are several children’s books that explain the tooth fairy, why we lose our “baby teeth,” and how to care for the new tooth that will grow.
Incorporating teeth-cleaning into a child’s daily routine at a young age will help create a lifetime habit that will have healthy benefits. Effective oral hygiene not only prevents cavities and gum disease; it can prevent cardiovascular disease, pregnancy complications, cancer, and diabetes. Preventing oral health problems can also save you time and money on future dental and medical visits. We hope you’ll use these tips to help your child learn healthy oral hygiene habits that will last a lifetime.