Start your child’s oral hygiene journey early.
Brushing and flossing daily as part of an oral hygiene routine seems simple, but many parents find that their children struggle in this area. It’s not always easy to teach them why they want to avoid cavities and gum disease until they’re actually dealing with them.
Of course, you don’t want your kids to have to learn the hard way, which is why it’s crucial to get them on a great oral hygiene routine as early as possible.
Parents, if you’re struggling to get your child used to brushing and flossing regularly, you’re not alone. It can take some serious dedication and sometimes a few clever tricks to turn what they see as a boring chore into a daily habit. Luckily, there are some things you can do to help your little ones along on their journey to maintaining a healthy smile.
Take a look at some of the most common things that can get in the way of your child’s oral hygiene routine and what you can do to address them.
1. Your Child’s Age
The younger your little one is, the more likely they are to have trouble sticking to their oral hygiene routine. Toddlers have meltdowns easily when it comes to brushing their teeth. They may not know how long it will take, want to do it themselves, or just find the process boring and uncomfortable.
To work through this with them, you should start by explaining what’s going on. A step-by-step process will help them stay calm and focused. A good way to keep them invested is to give them a bit of control by allowing them to have a turn brushing their teeth.
You can also use some simple tricks to make the process more engaging, like using a song or even a short movie to time them. Making it into a game where you rhyme, count, or tell a story about the teeth they’re brushing can also help them make some positive associations with their oral hygiene routine.
2. Sensory Differences
Some children have particular sensitivities to certain flavors, textures, noises, and sensations. While this can be true of any child, it’s particularly true of neurodivergent children.
The catch here is that your child may not be able to articulate what bothers them about brushing, so you’ll want to do a little experimenting to find the perfect mixture of toothbrush and toothpaste.
Try a soft bristle brush, let them test out a few different kinds of toothpaste, avoid electric brushes if the sounds are too much for them, and make sure to brush with, not against, the grain of the labial frenulum on their upper lip area.
3. Forgetting to Brush
Once your child starts brushing on their own, they may have some trouble sticking with the habit. If you want to help them remain mindful of their oral hygiene, you can take advantage of some modern technology and have them download an app that reminds them to brush every day.
4. Your Child’s Independence
Children love a sense of independence, and at a certain age, it may be time to give them more when it comes to oral care. If it helps them to be more diligent about their oral hygiene, there’s no reason not to, but you should still do a bit of your own monitoring to ensure that they’re following through.
5. Trouble Finding the Right Tools
There are a few different oral hygiene tools out there that can make brushing easier for your child.
Take a look at a three-sided toothbrush for a good example. There are also U-shaped electric toothbrushes that look like mouthguards and do much of the work for your child. Even a basic manual toothbrush with a fun design can help inspire some enthusiasm.
6. Not Brushing Thoroughly and Properly
This one can be hard to gauge, but to ensure your child is brushing well enough, you may want to opt for an electric brush. It takes a bit of the work out of their young hands and makes oral care easier on them.
Bring your child to the dentist regularly.
One of the best ways to ensure your toddler’s toothbrushing routines are sufficient is to bring them to their pediatric dentist for regular checkups. And if tooth pain and tooth sensitivity interfere with practicing oral care, make sure to book an appointment as soon as possible.
In need of Prince Frederick or Waldorf pediatric dentistry?
If you want to ensure your child’s oral health is in great shape, you should bring them to a Waldorf and Prince Frederick pediatric dentist once every six months. Contact We Make Kids Smile today to schedule your appointment.