Oral Hygiene For Children
Just like immunizations and well-care visits, good oral hygiene plays an important role in the overall health of a child. Fortunately, most parents find brushing and oral care relatively easy to incorporate into a consistent routine until…toddler time. With first steps and new words comes very strong toddler likes and dislikes, occasionally putting a damper on the brushing routine you’ve so happily established. But, there are a few tricks and tips to help make your brushing routine go smoothly, and to make it an enjoyable part of your toddler’s daily routine.
Make it a game – Everything is better when it’s fun. When the time comes each day, create a routine that your toddler enjoys. Do they love music? Pick a favorite song and play it while brushing. Make sure to sing along. If they have a favorite rubber ducky, try letting them brush ducky’s teeth in the bathtub so they can see that brushing is important for everyone.
Keep it short – As parents of toddlers know, you always have a limited window before they lose interest or get tired. Set aside a dedicated 5-10 minutes to tackle the toothbrush.
Let them do it – Toddlers are notoriously independent. They’re exploring the world and learning all the awesome things they are capable of. Allow them to spend some time brushing their own teeth, while you encourage their efforts and teach them proper technique. Make sure to heap on the praise and your toddler will be so proud of his accomplishments he’ll want to do it over and over again.
Brush together – Children love emulating their parents, so grab your toothbrush and make brushing something you do together. If your toddler has siblings, have them join too and make it a family affair.
Go for distractions – Sometimes with toddlers, the best offense is a good defense. On those days when your little one just doesn’t feel like brushing, offering them a book or game can help distract them enough for you to get the job done.
Ultimately, whatever works in your household make sure to keep up the routine. Little ones thrive on consistency and having a regular brushing schedule will help them to relax and incorporate good dental hygiene into their daily activity. Before you know it, your resistant toddler will grow into a child that’s fully equipped to tackle their tooth brushing routine like a pro.
And remember, dental care is an important part of your child’s overall well-being. You can talk with our pediatricians about your child’s oral health and we can help advise you on the best time to begin incorporating dentists into your child’s healthcare routine.