A Brief Guide to Teaching Kids How to Brush

Happy FamilyThere is no way to guarantee that your child will go through life with no cavities (unless they’re in the very lucky 1% of the population which is immune to the bacteria that cause tooth decay). Teaching basic oral hygiene to kids before their baby teeth even erupt can instill the habit in them for life. From the time they’re infants, you can gently wipe their gums with a clean washcloth after feedings. Polk City dentist, Dr. Ryan Hussong offers you a guide to teaching kids great dental hygiene habits.

Tips for Brushing Toddler’s Teeth

Babies are naturally curious, so if you expect complete cooperation when you introduce a toothbrush to them, you may be in for a surprise. Your toddler will most likely attempt to grab the toothbrush away from you, wiggle around, and refuse to open their mouths. Be patient. They have a natural instinct to want to control these new experiences themselves. You can actually take advantage of this, because keeping children involved in self-care is a great way to make it a pleasant habit for the rest of their lives.

Toothbrush Bonding

Allow your baby to develop familiarity with their new toothbrush by holding it and gnawing on it. Just make sure that they are safely seated when they do this. For the actual brushing, you may have to find a physical position that helps you keep them still. Laying them on the bed, or lengthwise down your lap, can give you the easiest access to all of their teeth. When brushing, use a circular motion on the front and back teeth, all the way up to the gumline.

Tips for Brushing Older Children’s Teeth

You should continue to assist your children in their oral hygiene until they are 8-years-old, or even longer if they have trouble doing a good job. Baby teeth fall out, but they’re not expendable. If your child gets a cavity on a baby tooth, they’ll still most likely need to get a filling. If the tooth has to be pulled, there can be issues with spacing when their permanent teeth come in. So, encourage your older children’s twice daily brushing and get them used to flossing, even on primary teeth. Make sure you and your older child focus on the chewing surfaces of molars, where bacteria and food particles tend to collect.

Restorative Dentist in Polk City

For more information about restorative dentistry, schedule your appointment online or call Cornerstone Dental at (515) 984-6001. We welcome patients from Polk City, Ames, Ankeny, Alleman, Bondurant, Grimes, Johnston, and the surrounding communities.