Creating good child dental habits

Introducing good dental habits early in life is a great way to set your child up for success in the future. Here are a few tips for getting the process started.

Start habits early
The earlier you introduce teeth brushing to your child, the better. The American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry recommends starting brushing by six months or when the first tooth sprouts. Of course, you’ll have to do it for them at first, but when the time is right, start including your child in the process, so they become familiar and comfortable with it.

Give them choices
You don’t use a toothpaste flavor you don’t like, so make sure your child doesn’t have to either. Try several flavors and let your kiddo choose his or her favorite. For kids under 2, you only need to use a smear of toothpaste, then start introducing pea-sized amounts for children ages 2 to 5.

Make it fun
Once old enough, let your child pick out the toothbrush he or she likes. There are so many options available – from character brushes to ones that play music and light up – there’s sure to be something for everyone. Whichever one you choose, make sure it is a small head, soft-bristle brush.

Be an example
Kids tend to copy parents and older siblings so make brushing a family event. Not only will you be setting good habits, but it’ll also give you a bit of family bonding time.

Cue the music
Turn on some music and play it while you brush. Two minutes goes a lot faster when there’s other entertainment!