Video:Better Toothbrushing Habits for your Kidswith Kathy Moore
It's up to you to create good toothbrushing habits in your children. Learn how you can make this tedious task fun and last with your kids for the rest of their lives.See Transcript
Transcript:Better Toothbrushing Habits for your KidsHi I am Kathy Moore for About.com Parenting.
If your kids are like mine, they LOVE tooth brushes. But getting them to brush, not chew on, a toothbrush can be a challenge. This program offers ideas on how to create better brushing habits.
What Type of Toothbrush?First, make sure your child's toothbrush has a soft head and is the appropriate size for your child's mouth.
Toothbrush TechniqueSecond, demonstrate the proper technique. The dentist may do this at the child's first dentist visit, but there is no need to wait. You can teach your child how to brush like this. Move the toothbrush in slowly, back and forth, across the teeth, covering all the teeth and the gumline. A gentle stroke movement is all that is needed to remove plaque.
Thorough ToothbrushingMake sure they brush all teeth surfaces and their tongue, too. Toothpaste is not required, but may be used if it will encourage your kids to brush longer or to increase the likelihood of brushing for a child who does not take to the routine.
Toothpaste CheckMake sure any toothpaste that is given to a child is made for kids, and that it does not have fluoride in it. Swallowing too much toothpaste with fluoride can be dangerous to anyone, but especially a child. If you use toothpaste, only a pea sized dab of toothpaste is needed to help clean teeth and remove plaque.
Teach Toothbrushing by ExampleModel the behavior you want your child to adopt. Brush your teeth with your child twice a day, or at least in front of him, so he is encouraged to mimic your good habits. You can make brushing more fun by letting your child choose his own toothbrush.
Toothbrush MaintenanceDentists recommend replacing a toothbrush about every three months or when the bristles become spread out. It is also a good idea to change toothbrushes after a cold or other illness.
Help your child have healthy teeth and a great smile by teaching them the importance of brushing, as well as eating a balanced diet and getting regular checkups at the dentist.
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