Teaching Your Child to Brush

As a parent of three young children myself, I know the challenges surrounding kids and brushing. There are 3 stages when it comes to brushing your child’s teeth. The 1st stage is when our babies and toddlers are completely reliant on us to clean their teeth for them. The 2nd stage is where our kids are brushing their own teeth but we need to ‘complete’ the job for them and the final stage is getting them to brush completely on their own.

1st stage

It’s important to start brushing early, as soon as the 1st tooth appears. Some kids love having their teeth brushed and some despise it. This is a fight worth fighting! It helps to stand behind your child and rest the back of their head on your thigh or stomach area when brushing their teeth. You can use your non preferred hand to cradle and lift their chin, giving you easy access with the toothbrush.

2nd stage

We recommend letting your child/children brush their own teeth to start with but then for a parent to complete the job especially before bed. Try and teach them to brush all the way to the back, use a circular motion and not to miss any teeth. Make sure you are using age appropriate fluoridated toothpaste and get them to spit out after. If your child tends to swallow most of the toothpaste, make sure you use a smaller amount. As they get older and better at spitting the paste out, then you can use larger quantity of paste on their toothbrush.

3rd stage

This stage is when your kids are old enough to brush on their own. There is no hard and fast rule but use your own discretion and check with your dental professional. This usually happens somewhere between ages 7 and 10. It can be beneficial to invest in an electric toothbrush as they often have 2 minute timers which encourages kids to brush for longer when compared to a manual toothbrush.

If your struggling with any of these stages and want any further tips and advice, feel free to ask us at your next appointment at More Smiles.

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