Helping little ones form good teeth brushing habits

Pediatric Dentist in Westlake Village, California:  Tips For Pediatric Oral Health Habits

As we all know, good oral hygiene is extremely important. Starting good habits early is key for maintaining healthy teeth over your lifetime. Once your little one’s baby teeth start to emerge, it is time to start putting together a strategy for oral hygiene. Beginning these practices as soon as possible will help your little ones develop healthy habits and encourage them to take proper care of their permanent teeth once they come in.

Making room for adult teeth! Pediatric dentistry is so fulfilling!

Where do you begin? How can you teach them the importance of good oral health that will be easy for them to understand? Check out these tips and tricks to help you guide your little ones toward a life of great oral health!

1. Lead by example

Your little ones love to mimic what you do. That’s how they learned to make facial expressions, walk, and talk. They saw you do it all first! That doesn’t change when it comes to your teeth. Let your kiddos be a part of your morning and nightly routines. Let them watch you brush your teeth. They will naturally become more curious and want to try it themselves.

2. Teach

Once your child becomes interested in brushing their teeth, purchase a training toothbrush and child safe toothpaste. Children do not have full control of their fine motor skills until they are at least 6-7 years old, so you will likely need to brush their teeth for them. Even though they may not be doing it themselves, your little ones will still learn as you walk them through the process. Encourage them to brush in circular movements and on all surfaces of their teeth. You can have fun with it and tell them about the “sugar bugs” that if not brushed away will eat little holes in their teeth. Tell them that their toothpaste is full of lots of little super heroes that will attack those sugar bugs and save their teeth. Making up little stories like these will make brushing their teeth a fun adventure!

3. Flossing

Don’t forget to floss! Even though your kiddos are little, they still need to learn to floss too! This requires even more dexterity, so you will likely need help. Regular dental floss might be too difficult to use for their tiny mouths. Try floss picks! These are so much easier to use and your child can start practicing with them earlier as well.

4. Consistency

Consistency is key in forming new habits. You will want to be sure to make these new habits a staple in your morning and evening routines. If you only brush your teeth occasionally with your children, they will learn that it is okay to skip brushing your teeth and in return put their oral health at risk. If you find it is hard to stay consistent, try creating a chart or list that will help keep you accountable and prompt you and your little one to remember.

5. Inspect

After your children are done brushing their teeth, it is time to inspect! Have your little one run their tongue against the surface of their teeth. If the surface of their teeth feels rough or sticky, they will need to brush again. Once their teeth feel smooth and slippery then they are good to go!

Learning good oral hygiene techniques at a young age will set your children up for a life with a healthy mouth. Start teaching your little ones now and remember have fun!  We love helping kids get started on the right foot!


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