dental care blog
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Poor and infrequent brushing may be major obstacles keeping children from having excellent oral health and are the areas that cause caregivers the greatest concern.
Toddlers don't really understand why they need to brush their teeth, no matter what stories we tell them about cavities. And having someone else put something in your mouth and move it around is simply scary, or at least uncomfortable. Most of us don't enjoy visiting the dentist every six months; we ask kids to open their mouths for us twice a day. No wonder they resist.
Holding a child down is always a bad idea. It's guaranteed to make them hate brushing their teeth. And it undermines your relationship with them.
Getting children to brush regularly, and correctly, can be a real challenge. Here are some easy ideas to encourage brushing:
1. Make brushing teeth just part of the routine.
You may want to try it before bath time so your little one is not so tired. Or even during the bath. It may be more work for you, but your child will be more playful and relaxed.
2. Consider skipping toothpaste, or use flavored toothpastes made for children.
Most dentists say that's fine at this age, and since most kids don't like toothpaste, you might experiment to see if that makes him/her more open to brushing. The other option is to buy a bunch of kids' toothpastes one after the other, trying them and giving then choices to see which works for your child. Maybe they'll will love one and that will give them incentive.
3. Keep it VERY short!
Having someone poke around in your mouth can seem iffy, even to an adult. The idea now is to get your kid used to the idea of brushing. You can lengthen the amount of brushing time by using songs and timers as they get older, but for now, waste no time.
4. Play "copycat".
Since most kids that are very young enjoy learning by copying us, but want to "do it themselves," brush your teeth together, while looking into the mirror. Have them copy you in the mirror as you brush. It'll be a less than thorough job, but it is a good start and teaches them that they're the ones doing the hard work and this will make brushing an accomplishment. That way they don't have to rebel against brushing teeth even if they goes through periods where they won't let you brush their teeth. Make it a fun game.
If none of these work, don't hesitate to contact your local dentist about the same- you're probably not the first caregiver who has faced this sort of problem!
Call Now: 587 410 5766
Dr. Alexander Yeh and Dr. Iyad Al-Qishawi are registered general dentists. They graduated in the same class at the University of Manitoba’s Faculty of Dentistry.
Edmonton Emergency Dental Services:
Pain and infection relief
Phone: 587 410 5766
Address: 4526 Calgary Trail NW #110 Southbound NW, Edmonton, AB T6H 4A6