Tips for teaching children to brush and floss their teeth

Parenting is difficult. There is so much to teach, and children aren’t always the best listeners. One important skill to teach is quality dental hygiene. There are countless links between dental health and overall health, so starting off your child right is vital. 

Here are some tips for teaching children how to brush their teeth! 

First, take care of their baby teeth 

A lot of parents may be under the impression that baby teeth don’t matter, because they eventually fall out. However, the health of your child’s baby teeth can affect the alignment of permanent teeth, speech patterns, facial bone and muscle development, as well as overall health. Brushing baby teeth regularly and taking your child to the dentist after the age of 1 will help keep their oral health on track. 

Tips for teaching brushing  

To begin, hold the toothbrush against your child’s gum line, and show them how to brush in wide strokes at a 45-degree angle. Also, making them brush each individual tooth can help build quality dental habits in the future. Show your child how to brush the tongue and roof of the mouth. Also, don’t be afraid to let them watch your brushing routine — just make sure you’re practicing good dental habits to show them!  

Setting a timer when they brush their teeth can ensure they’re covering every surface. Also, using a reward system or chart can help make dental hygiene fun, so they look forward to brushing their teeth! 

Tips for teaching flossing  

Floss for your child gently and use a short string of floss wrapped around your fingers. Make a curved “C” shape when flossing and make sure to use a new section of floss for each tooth. Teach your child that flossing should be done once per day.  

Brushing their teeth is likely to come easier to children than flossing, so it may take some time to work up to. Using a rewards system can make the process fun, or flossing together with your child can turn it into a bonding activity!  

Don’t just teach your child good dental hygiene habits, make sure they know the importance of visiting the dentist by booking regular appointments for them. Jackson Dental treats both adults and children, ages 1 and up. Call us today to schedule an exam, x-ray, or cleaning for your little one at 573-243-5200.