Good dental hygiene should start early in life. When kids are really small, it’s up to parents to make sure their teeth are brushed at least once a day. As they get older and assert their independence, daily brushing can be more difficult. At The Mt. Vernon Center for Dentistry in Alexandria, we have some suggestions that we hope will help.
- Set The Right Example. One of the most important things to do is set the right example. This applies to so much parenting! Make sure you child sees you brushing and flossing, and understands that you consider it essential to good health.
- Don’t Worry About Toothpaste. Some kids hate the way toothpaste tastes. When their small, don’t make too much of it. If toothpaste keeps them from brushing, then skip it. Early on, most important thing is to establish the good habit of regular brushing.
- Be Positive. When a youngster refuses to brush, it can be incredibly frustrating. Believe us, we know! Don’t let it get to you. Don’t tell them of the consequences of not brushing: “Your teeth will all fall out!” Instead, use positive reinforcement when they do brush: an extra ten minutes playing video games before bathtime, for example.
- Keep It Short. Don’t insist that your youngster does as thorough a job on his or her teeth as you do on yours. This is especially true when they’re just taking over their brushing duties. As with forgoing toothpaste, the critical thing is to get them in the habit of regular brushing.
Above all, be patient and don’t give up! If you keep it positive and keep at it, your child will get the message before long. At The Mt. Vernon Center for Dentistry in Alexandria we offer family and restorative dentistry, and so much more!. Schedule your child’s next checkup today!