It’s already difficult enough to teach your child right from wrong and teach them good behavior. Throwing oral hygiene habits into the mix is another mountain to climb. One of the biggest struggles face with their child and oral hygiene habits are helping their children understand the importance of oral hygiene and brushing and flossing their teeth without telling them to. At Collins Dentistry & Aesthetics in Spokane Valley, we’re here to help guide your young children to establish good oral hygiene habits.
Mother and young daughter looking into the mirror while brushing their teeth

Brush and Floss in Front of Your Children

One of the easiest ways to help your young children understand the importance of oral hygiene is by letting them watch you take it seriously yourself. Children love imitating their parents – it’s a form of flattery. Encourage your children to take care of their teeth by brushing and flossing in front of them all the time. The more they watch you do it, the more they will understand they need to do it.

Use a Sing-Along Song

Most children don’t brush their teeth for the recommended two minutes. Unfortunately, not reaching the two-minute mark likely means they’re missing areas of their mouth or not brushing well enough. If your child loves singing a certain song (preferably one that is around two minutes long), play the song every time they brush their teeth so they know when to stop. This will make the experience more fun for them!

Choose an Electric Toothbrush

Not all children are the best at brushing their teeth effectively. This is where electric toothbrushes come in hand. Not only can your child choose a fun character, but the electric toothbrush has a set timer and does a much better job at cleaning their teeth than with a manual brush. Your children might even find the electric toothbrush fun to use.

Offer Rewards

Create a chart for your child that shows every day of the week. Every time they brush and floss their teeth, give them a sticker. If they reach a certain number of stickers by the end of the week, offer them a reward! This method helps them keep their eye on the prize so they practice good oral hygiene habits all week long.

Explain Why Oral Hygiene is Important

Most children don’t understand why they need to brush or floss in the first place. Try to explain what plaque is by describing it as a monster you need to brush and floss out of your mouth every day. If the monsters stay put, they will make your teeth hurt. The better your children understand why they have t do something, the more likely they will continue doing it.

At Collins Dentistry & Aesthetics, we highly recommend our patients bring their children to our dental office starting from the first time they grow their first tooth. Consistent dental care is the best way to establish healthy habits and promote healthy teeth for life.

If you would schedule a dental cleaning for your children or your whole family in the future, please call our Spokane Valley dentists at (509) 927-2273.