A Parent’s Guide to Teaching Dental Habits


PARENTING CAN BE such a wild time that you might struggle to find a moment to brush your own teeth, let alone brush theirs and teach them how to do it themselves. As your South San Francisco dentists we have a few tips we hope will make this process a little smoother for your family.


Prioritize the Health of Baby Teeth

Temporary doesn’t mean unimportant. Just because your child’s baby teeth will be replaced with permanent teeth, it doesn’t mean it’s fine if they end up full of cavities. They need their baby teeth to chew their food, pronounce their words, and smile. Baby teeth are also placeholders for adult teeth. To protect them, aim for twice-daily brushing and daily flossing of any teeth that touch each other.


Begin Building Life-Long Habits Early

It isn’t always easy to teach a young child important life skills. They have boundless energy and short attention spans, so a session of sitting still with a toothbrush isn’t always going to go as planned. Following these tips might help as you’re trying to impart these essential skills:

  • Show them that brushing is a priority. If brushing your child’s teeth comes across to them as an inconvenient chore, they’ll see dental hygiene as an inconvenience. Frame it as something easy but unskippable — a part of every morning and evening.

  • Feel free to take brushing outside of the bathroom. All you need is a toothbrush to brush your child’s teeth wherever it’s easiest. It could save a lot of frustration.

  • Using toothpaste isn’t as important as using a toothbrush. If your child practiced their finger-painting skills with the entire toothpaste tube, simply brush without it until you can get more.

  • Let your child choose their own toothbrush. This will help them feel more ownership over the process and make it more exciting.

  • When possible, brush in front of the mirror so they can watch how the process works. It will also help them feel more involved.

  • Make brushing fun! They’ll be happier to cooperate if you treat it like a game. Maintain a cheerful attitude and play fun music in time with their two minutes of brushing.



Our Expertise Is for Your Benefit

We’re eager to hear all about your brushing routine with your child. Do you have a strategy that’s working well? How much have our tips helped? Make sure to tell our in-house pediatric dentist about it at your child’s next dental appointment. If it's been more than 6 months since your last child's visit or if their first tooth has come in, now is the time to schedule their next visit. It's easy! You can request an appointment online or give us a call or text at (650) 871-1400 today!


 

The content on this blog is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of qualified health providers with questions you may have regarding medical conditions.



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