Once your child’s teeth begin erupting, you can begin cleaning them by wiping them with a moist washcloth. As your child gets more teeth, you can begin to use a soft child’s toothbrush.
You should use just a pea-sized amount of fluoride free toothpaste (such as Baby OraGel Training Toothpaste) until your child is able to spit it out as too much fluoride can stain their teeth. By age two or three begin teaching your child to brush. You will still need to brush after they do to ensure you’ve brushed where they’ve missed.
For most toddlers, getting them to brush their teeth can be quite a challenge. Below are some tips to make preventative care at home, such as teeth-brushing, something that kids get excited about.
MAKE IT FUN. Our patients enjoy seeing us because we are excited to see them and teach them about how they can become more empowered in their own care. We know your child may only see us a couple times of year, while you oversee the hygiene the rest of the year. It’s no fun to wage a daily tug-of-war with your child over brushing that can leave both of your wanting to avoid it. If you find something that makes these few minutes fun, you may find your child asking to brush!
SHOW & TELL. We use puppets to “show and tell” our patients how to take care of their teeth. Encourage your kids to do a puppet show for you to demonstrate their knowledge, and give them positive feedback.
FOLLOW THE LEADER. If there are older siblings in the household who have developed good habits, try having them brush together. Younger children like to model behavior of older kids. More importantly, they learn from your example. Brushing together gives your child the chance to follow your lead – and gives you both a few minutes of true quality time.