Encourage Children to Take Care of Their Teeth
Help your children get started with brushing and flossing. A great way to encourage children to take care of their own teeth is to help them brush and floss, and have them watch you do it too!
Help them until at least the age of 6. Most children cannot brush effectively until they are 8 years old. It is important that you continue to help them learn as they grow. Assisting them and teaching them to brush their teeth two times a day for two minutes with a bit of fluoridated toothpaste and flossing before bed will help to set a routine..
Even after those early years, continuing to brush together with your child will reinforce those healthy habits into their adulthood. It’s even a good idea to do “fresh-breath checks” encouraging regular brushing after their meals. Many studies show that a child’s brushing habits are largely influenced by their parents’ brushing habits. Encouraging and teaching your child to brush their teeth can have a lasting impact on their oral hygiene, well into their adult years!
Tips for Brushing Their Teeth
Here are some simple tips to help encourage your children to brush their teeth:
- For children under 2, use just a rice-sized smear of fluoride toothpaste
- For children ages 3-6, use a pea-sized amount of fluoride toothpaste.
- Use a soft-bristled brush for two minutes, at least two times per day, and especially after sweet consumption.
- Show your child how to hold their toothbrush to brush at a 45-degree angle (toward the gum line). Gently stroking all surfaces of their teeth.
- Help your child with brushing until at least age 6 and up until 8 years of age.
It doesn’t take much to clean your child’s teeth. Until you’re confident that your child can brush on his or her own, continue to brush your child’s teeth twice a day with a child-size toothbrush. Your encouragement and direction will have a lasting impact on their ability to care for their oral health.
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