Let’s face it… this can be a challenge! A tired child, a tired mom and a tiny mouth all lead to a ‘not-so-good-brush.’ Here are some tips that I find very helpful:
- Brush your child’s teeth before your child gets overly tired. A great opportunity is after their last snack. After this point, they can drink water only.
- Modeling great brushing behavior. Kids want to model their parents, so be a great example by having fun while you brush your own teeth.
- Have a calendar that charts your child’s brushing. Use stickers or stamps as rewards for the excellent brushing.
- Use a tooth timer (2 minutes) to time the brushing to ensure a thorough and complete clean.
- Get very excited and happy when your child does a great job. Remember to always supervise your child while brushing their teeth.
Another big topic is whether to use fluoridated toothpaste for your child. The answer depends on your child’s assessed risk for dental cavities. If your child has low risk, then a non-fluoridated toothpaste should be used until your child learns to spit. We do not want your child swallowing excess fluoride. This can lead to a tummy ache and/or fluorosis of the developing permanent teeth. Once the child learns to spit out the toothpaste, a pea-sized amount of fluoridated toothpaste can be used. This will aid in cavity-prevention by strengthening the tooth enamel. More information can be read at: http://www.cda-adc.ca/en/oral_health/faqs_resources/faqs/fluoride_faqs.asp
Reading books about the dentist and teeth are a great way to prepare your child for their first dental visit. I love “Sesame Street – Ready, Set, Brush” by Tom Brannon. http://www.amazon.ca/Ready-Set-Brush-Matt-Mitter/dp/0794414451
Make sure to let your child know that their first dental visit will be FUN! It will include a tour, a ‘ride’ in the chair, a story and a prize. Our goal is to make your child comfortable with the office. Soon they will be looking forward to their next visit with us!
I appreciate your comments!
Thank you for sharing,