Smile Workshop specializes in family dental care. And to provide the very best of care, we employ all dental specialists – including pedodontists (pediatric specialists).
Teaching your child good dental habits early in life is a great way to insure he or she grows up with a pretty smile. The best time to introduce your child to the basics of dental care is while he or she is a toddler (between the ages of two and four). Dental hygiene probably wasn’t much of an issue during the first year of your child’s life, but by the age of three your child should have a full set of teeth.
There are several things to consider while you introduce your toddler to brushing and flossing his or her teeth. Here are some tips from your family dentistry:
Put a step up stool in front of the sink
Chances are your bathroom wasn’t built to cater to people less than four feet tall. It’s very important for toddlers to not only be able to reach the sink, but also see themselves in the mirror while they learn to brush their teeth. Putting a step stool in front of the sink is an encouraging way to remind them to brush their teeth every day.
Make brushing fun
Let your child pick out his or her favorite color brush. Manufacturers make toothbrushes with popular cartoon characters and even ones that play music. If you make the brushing experience fun, your child won’t put up a fuss twice a day.
Teach your child the proper brushing motion
Using a toothbrush is a big step for a toddler. The easiest way to teach children proper brushing technique is to put the toothbrush in their hand and place your hand over theirs so that you can help guide them. If you place your child in front of a mirror they should be able to pick up on this motion fairly quick.
Supervise toddlers while they brush
Toothpaste may taste fresh or even come in a kid-friendly flavor, but make sure your child knows that it is meant to be spit out – not swallowed. There are several fluoride-free toothpastes that are a safe for toddlers to use during their first attempts at brushing.
Slowly introduce your child to flossing
Flossing is a crucial part of dental care. However, toddlers’ hands and motor skills make flossing difficult for them to do. An adult should floss a toddler’s teeth regularly. It is important to be very gentle while doing this. Let your child try to floss after you have gone through the process a few times. They will eventually learn how to floss on their own. Learning to floss properly will take toddlers longer to learn than brushing their teeth.
Start your toddler on the path to great dental health today.