It is a routine that every parent has to go through. It involves putting a small glob of toothpaste on the brush and watching your child go through with their own messy brushing technique, gently pushing the toothbrush over their tiny teeth in uncoordinated hand movements. Sometimes, they are just smearing the paste over there and spitting out a lot of it but not really getting the job done.
They can get excited and look forward to their own little oral routine but if you don’t show them the right brushing techniques that clean their teeth, and guide them patiently until they have mastered it, they are likely to begin suffering from oral health problems at a very young age.
In this article, we will offer you some tips on how you can get your kid to get engaged in proper oral care with the right brushing technique that will get rid of the food particles, bacteria and prevent the formation of plaque.
Let them play the dentist
At a young age, kids pick their cues from parents so if you show them a new trick, they are likely to learn it pretty quickly. One of the best ways of teaching them the best brushing techniques is by letting them play the dentist. Brush your teeth in front of them and let them try out the right brushing technique on a doll.
You can choose a doll with small and hard teeth and get them a small toothbrush that they can use to “play dentist”. Show them the right brushing techniques as they play dentist, instructing them to brush both the front and back part of the doll’s “teeth”. Do this on a regular basis until they get it right on the doll. Once they do this, they will easily transfer the technique to their own oral care routine.
Use disclosing tablets to help them find plaque
Kids are generally not thorough enough when brushing their teeth. They apply little pressure and will most likely focus on the front teeth or tooth surface while totally ignoring the gumline and other areas. One way to trick them into doing a more thorough job in brushing their teeth is by buying them plaque “disclosing tablets”. The disclosing tablets are chewable tablets that make it possible for you to see the dental plaques. The tablets have a dye that stains the plaque on your teeth with a bright colour, making them more visible.
Your kid will chew this and spit it out and it will leave bright red spots on their teeth and gumline indicating where the plaque is. Once they see this and if you have scared them enough on how “bad ” these are, they will get the incentive to brush their teeth more thoroughly in order to get rid of the plaque. Do this regularly and they will begin to develop a more solid and thorough teeth brushing technique.
Give them an incentive to brush long enough
Kids don’t like the taste of the ordinary toothpaste so they will brush their teeth in a matter of seconds and spit it out. They want to get it done with as quickly as possible so they may brush hard or softly but only for a few seconds. Get them sweet tasting toothpaste and try to encourage them to take their time and brush their teeth more gently. Ideally, they should brush for a full two minutes as recommended by dentists. You can train them with a fun timer that will keep them at it for longer so that they don’t get bored while brushing their teeth.
It is important to develop these habits as early as possible because it will stay with them. Once they develop a good oral hygiene routine, they are likely to retain them for the rest of their lives and it will also save you a few visits to the pediatric dentist.