But I hate brushing… How to get your kids to enjoy taking care of their mouth

smile kid

You probably hear it twice a day. That moan of “But I hateeeeeee brushing.” Well sorry buddy, tough luck; You have to take care of that there chomper of yours. But what can you do as a parent to help your little guy or girl learn to enjoy having good dental hygiene?

Well as a way to celebrate Children’s Dental Health Month we have some tips that we’ve used on our kids to help keep their mouths clean, and even help them have a little fun while doing it…

So you have a newborn… Well first of all congrats. Second of all you can put the toothbrush away until there at least some teeth in their mouth to brush. Instead, what you want to do is keep the little girl or guys gums clean, and you can do that by just using a soft clean wet rag on their gums. You want to be sure to clean off and get rid of any leftover breast milk or formula because that can cause a yeast infection in their mouth known as a thrush.

Also, babies are without cavity forming bacteria, that’s something you develop as you get older. Another newborn tip is don’t share your spoon with your baby. We know the smashed peas are delicious, but periodontal disease and bacteria that causes gingivitis can be passed on through saliva.

You want to take your little one into the dentist 6 months after they grow their first tooth. But once that tooth shows up you want to start brushing it with just a sliver of non-fluoride toothpaste. You should not start using fluoride toothpaste until your child is over 3 years old.

Oh, but you have a toddler and not a newborn? Well here are some tips for you…

  • For toddlers 3 and older you just want to use a pea size dollop of toothpaste. You don’t need to go crazy with it.
  • Now is the perfect time to introduce flossing to them. Even if you hate it, if you can get them into it early it will help you from not passing down your bad habit ☺
  • You really want to limit their sugar intake because cavities in baby teeth can seep into adult teeth.
  • Milk is full of sugar, so if you put the little one to bed with milk, you want to make sure they brush after.
  • We here at Derby Dental like to call our toddler visits “Happy Visits” because it helps remove the fear that kids have of going to the dentist. We let our little friends use our tools and familiarize themselves with all the different sounds and sights that they’re going to see when they’re in our chair.

Most kids start to lose their baby teeth at around 5-6 years old, but if it’s a little later for your child, that’s no reason to sweat. Rachel’s son Quentin, didn’t lose his first tooth until he was 7!

One last tip we have for you is a trick for the fussy brusher… If they don’t want to brush, make a game out of it with color tablets. These tablets will turn the parts of the mouth with plaque a different color, and child will have to brush it white. Next time your in the office, make sure to ask us for some!

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