How To get Kids into Good Oral Hygiene Habits


Your children can be very good at avoiding brushing their teeth each day, or if they do manage to brush, they often run out of patience and can miss large areas of the tooth surface. Sometimes it can feel like a real struggle to get them into a regular brushing routine in the first place, let alone making sure they brush properly every time.

You can make things a little easier for yourself by starting early and developing and sticking to a regular oral hygiene schedule as soon as their first teeth start to appear. Getting into a routine early will help your child adopt it as a normal part of the day and just something that everyone does, like washing your hands after going to the toilet.

Explaining the importance of good brushing

Once your child is old enough to understand why maintaining a regular tooth brushing routine is so important, you should explain to them in words that are easy for them to understand and also to allow them to take on some of the responsibility for caring for their own teeth. Children love to feel more grown up and to be given a little control, and will do their best to impress you with their brushing skills.

Build a dental schedule

The key to ensuring your children get the best possible care for their oral health is to get them familiar with visiting the dentist by attending your appointments with you. Whenever you go for a regular check-up or a teeth cleaning, you should take your child along with you so that they can meet everyone that will be taking care of their teeth later on too. Visiting with you will get them used to the dental surgery environment as well as the smells and noises coming from the treatment rooms. This will prevent them from becoming scared of strange noises or becoming fearful of going into treatment rooms and sitting in the ‘big chair’.

Early dental care

Even before your child has developed any teeth, your dentist is still able to offer you some care. For the first six months while their teeth are still growing under their gums, your dentist can keep a check on your child’s gum health and tooth development. They can also advise on healthy food and drinks to give your child and tips for soothing teething pain.

As soon as your child’s first teeth start to show, you can visit your dentist for a check-up. They will be able to check and monitor your child’s tooth development and make sure everything goes smoothly. You can start to book in regular check-ups for your child from this stage onwards.

Permanent second teeth

Permanent or second teeth come in around the age of six years old. Their baby teeth will start to become loose and fall out to be replaced by their permanent teeth. This is a continuous process that carries on until around the age of 11 or 12 years old. By this age your child should have established their own regular brushing routine and be brushing their own teeth twice per day.

Keep extra supplies

Making sure that you always have enough toothpaste and dental floss at home, along with a couple of spare toothbrushes, will ensure that there will never be an excuse to miss a brushing session and not to keep their teeth clean. You will never be caught short when it is time to replace a worn out toothbrush, and your child can carry on with their regular brushing with a fresh toothbrush knowing that they are doing a good job.

More information about children’s dentistry from our website:

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