New Year is a great time to set new goals, including taking care of your teeth. If your child’s dental routine has been less than consistent, now is the time to help them create a new habit. After all, a good oral hygiene routine is a lifelong gift.
Kids Brushing Teeth: When Should They Start?
During infancy: After each feeding, clean your infant’s mouth without toothpaste.
After the first tooth appears: Clean teeth using minimal toothpaste—a smear will do.
4+: Continue brushing your child’s teeth at least once daily to ensure a thorough clean. Children usually don’t have the dexterity or understanding to efficiently brush their teeth independently until they’re much past 8.
Start trusting your kids with one brushing session with supervision if you feel they’re ready. Teach them to use only a pea-sized amount of toothpaste and not to swallow it.
At Your Discretion: Once you’ve determined they have this oral hygiene routine mastered, let them take care of it themselves. Keep an eye on brushing and flossing to make sure they’re doing it correctly and effectively.
Help Develop Your Kid’s Brushing Routine
Talk about the Back Teeth
Kids tend to be literal creatures and might not understand the importance of cleaning the back of the mouth. Explain how food can get caught back there and result in cavities.
Tout the Tongue Scraping
Teach your little ones to pay attention to the tongue, where bacteria can reside. If your kid resists, you can invest in fun tooth scrapers that make this part a little more exciting.
Be Their Example
Show little ones how to maintain an oral hygiene routine. Set a clear example for your kids by taking care of your teeth in front of them. Explain how you care for your teeth and why it’s so important to do so, no matter how old you are. That lesson will sink in, even if it doesn’t appear so in the moment.
Take Time to Educate
Helping kids understand the purpose of brushing can help them do it more. Our lending library is available for your benefit! This list of books for kids compiled by our Dakota Dental team can help unpack this process for them.
Call on Puppet Friends as Back-Up
If your kid is resistant to brushing their teeth, call in familiar friends to help. Sesame Street’s Brush Those Teeth Game helps motivate kids to brush their teeth. Check out more kid-friendly teeth-brushing apps below!
Our #1 Piece of Advice: Pick This Battle
Kids will be kids, as the saying goes. And after a long day of parenting, you may be tempted to let them skip teeth brushing.
Even if they resist brushing their teeth night after night, keep pushing them to care for their teeth through consistent routines. Not only will this keep their teeth healthy and strong, but the training will hopefully stick with them far into the future.
Pediatric Dentist Minneapolis & Beyond
Now is the perfect time to schedule your kid’s dental appointments for the year. Regular check-ups keep their teeth healthy as they grow. And getting them used to the dentist at a young age means they’re more likely to visit the dentist as adults.
Check out how Dakota Dental takes care of its younger patients. Then, make an appointment with our caring and empathetic team by clicking here or calling 952-431-5774.
More Recommended Tooth-Brushing Apps
Dakota Dental loves making oral hygiene and dental health as easy as possible for all ages. If you have trouble getting your kids to brush, here are two more apps that can help:
Brusheez: The Little Monster Toothbrush Time
This free app lets your child choose their own little monster, their outfits, and a toothbrush before helping their new monster friend brush. This app gives a timer and instructions on where to brush for how long to make sure your little one starts and ends the day with clean teeth.
This app instructs your child on where and how to brush, floss, and rinse in an engagingly fun way. Because it encourages children to choose healthy animal food options, this app is a winner in our books!
If you have concerns about your children’s dental health, visit Dakota Dental. In addition to pediatric dentistry, we can address questions or concerns regarding your oral health. From preventative measures to oral surgery to cosmetic dentistry, Dakota Dental, the family dentists in Apple Valley, can help with all your dental service needs!