One of the most important things my mom ever taught me was how correctly to brush and floss my teeth. It is something that has become a great habit and very important especially for those who wear braces.
You should start teaching your child how to brush their teeth when they are around 2. Buy them a child’s toothbrush and do hand-over-hand with them after each meal. Make sure you show them with your mouth how to open theirs, and when to put their teeth together. Talk to them through the whole process so they will understand and relate to these words each time. “Brush the front, now the sides, and on the top.”
The parent should carefully floss the child’s teeth. Most kids have spaces between their baby teeth so it will be easy to floss them. You just need to be careful and make sure they hold still, as much as they can. You could make up a little story about fighting tooth germs with the toothbrush and floss. This should make it fun for the child and encourage them to continue doing this through their childhood years.
Remember that when you are brushing your two year-old’s mouth, to use only a small “pea” size amount of toothpaste. Encourage your little one to spit out any extra that is in their mouths.
By the time they are 5, you should be able to stop doing hand-over-hand and just guide them through the tooth brushing process. You will still need to help them floss. You can also buy flossers, They are made for kids to use instead of winding the floss around their fingers. It will be hard for them to remember to brush their teeth after lunch at school, some schools don’t allow for time to brush their teeth. Let them know that they can do it when they get home.
When they are 10, they will be able to floss by themselves using regular floss, or flossers. You will want to get them a bigger toothbrush as well. Always use a “soft” brush as this is recommended most by dentists.
Make sure that your child goes to the dentist no later than three years of age. If you keep up on their brushing and flossing, they will only need their six month cleaning visits. Great brushing and flossing skills should cut down on any cavities that may come.
If your child does end up getting braces, they are going to have to be even more diligent in their oral care as it is so easy to get food stuck in the braces and that can lead to massive decay in your teeth. They even have special floss for braces so make sure you don’t use just regular floss.