Build a Basic Routine
Teaching kids about their teeth can start when they’re babies, by rubbing a clean cloth over their gums after feeding. Once your children have transitioned into the toddler stage and teeth appear, use a small toothbrush in the morning and the evening to help keep teeth clean.
Once your children are preschoolers, the habit of taking care of teeth has been firmly established. Your kids will know that in your family, teeth are brushed twice a day with soft-bristled toothbrushes that are replaced every three months. Floss can also be introduced at this stage, cleaning out plaque from in-between teeth.
Let your kids have choices when it comes to taking care of their teeth. There’s a variety of kid-friendly products out there, including toothbrushes that have songs and special characters, fun toothpaste, cute reusable cups, and mouthwash that turns your kids' teeth blue where brushing is required.
Have a few different toothbrushes for your kids to choose from, and teach them how to put pea-sized amounts of toothpaste on the bristles. Keep them brushing for extended amounts of time while singing a simple song, like the ABC’s. Don’t forget to review rinsing and spitting!
Make it a habit to brush and floss your own teeth with your kids, either in the morning or in the evening. As they see you doing it, they will respond to your example and want to be like you. This will give you credibility should there ever be any arguments about the issue.
Make sure to take your kids to the dentist every six months, usually beginning when they are three or four years old. The dentist and dental hygienists will also help teach them the best ways to take care of their beautiful smiles for years to come!
Kelly Wilson is a mom, freelance writer, and money-saver who visits her General Dentist in Vancouver, Washington for regular check-ups and cleanings to preserve her fantastic smile.