Sometimes, it’s easier to do things yourself, such as brushing your toddler’s teeth. But, it’s important to pass the torch on to your child so that he may learn proper brushing techniques. There are plenty of tips and tricks to make teeth brushing enjoyable for toddlers. Knoxville children’s dentist Dr. Jack Haney shares his favorite tips to help parents get through handing off the baton – or toothbrush, in this case.
Perhaps the most important factor in instilling good oral hygiene in children is attending biannual dental checkups. At your child’s dental visit, Dr. Haney will examine your son/daughter’s teeth, gums, and jawbone to make sure they’re strong and healthy. He will check for signs of gingivitis and look at occlusion (bite) and tooth alignment. A professional dental cleaning will be conducted to remove tartar and plaque buildup, leaving teeth shiny and clean.
Call 865-693-6886 today to schedule your toddler’s biannual dental checkup with Dr. Haney in Knoxville, TN. We’re happy to provide additional tips on how to make teeth brushing fun and effective for your kids.
Let Him Be in Charge
An easy way to make brushing enjoyable is to let your child choose his toothbrush. Your son or daughter will feel large and in charge when you lead them to the toothbrush aisle and give them complete freedom to choose a toothbrush. Dr. Haney suggests letting them choose one with their favorite TV character or one in their favorite color.
Bacteria rapidly grow on moist surfaces, such as a toothbrush; therefore, it’s important to replace your toddler’s toothbrush every three to four months. Aside from choosing a fun toothbrush, Dr. Haney recommends investing in colorful fluoride toothpaste. Children often enjoy the rainbow colored, bubblegum flavored pastes.
It’s no secret that our children imitate our actions. Rather than giving them bad habits to mimic (such as nail biting or leaving cups around the house), model proper brushing techniques. Dr. Haney suggests making brushing a family event. It’s also beneficial to create a routine. Nighttime could go something like this: showers, pajamas, family teeth brushing, flossing, mouthwash, and then a bedtime story. When you create a routine, your toddler will begin to expect teeth brushing as part of his day. Of course, this important event should also take place during your mourning routine.
Have your child watch you perform your daily oral hygiene routine and imitate your actions. If your toddler appears to lose interest, brush your teeth together. You could say things such as, “Let’s start by making a smile and brushing our smiley teeth,” only to move onto something like, “Now, open wide so that we can reach our back teeth.”
Super Silly Song
Children love silly songs. Dr. Haney’s rule of thumb is, the sillier the better! Help your toddler come up with a song about teeth brushing. Sing this song during teeth brushing time so you can make memories and have a good time.
Along with playing copycat, children like playing teacher. Have your child teach their stuffed animals or dolls how to properly brush their teeth (or fangs) – or pretend like you forgot how, and have your little one re-teach you! To combine some tips, sing the silly song with your child while he or she brushes a stuffed animal’s teeth.
For more toddler tips and tricks, schedule an appointment with Knoxville children’s dentist, Dr. Haney today. Call 865-693-6886.