How to encourage your child to maintain good oral hygiene

Children are often reluctant to brush their teeth, but oral hygiene is such an important issue that you need to teach them how to care for their teeth from an early age.

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Start as soon as your baby’s teeth appear

Wipe new baby teeth gently with a piece of damp gauze or soft cloth after feeds. This will familiarise your little one with the idea that teeth need cleaning and make it easier to introduce a toothbrush later. Let children watch you and other family members flossing and brushing your teeth.

Make it fun

Special toothbrushes with your child’s favourite cartoon character can encourage them to brush their teeth. You can also get musical brushes or those that light up. Try letting your child choose his own toothbrush at the chemist or supermarket. One Dublin dentist has even composed a special teeth-cleaning song for children.

Choose pleasant-tasting toothpaste

Although considerations such as the amount of fluoride and cost are important, if your child does not like the taste of a toothpaste, he will be reluctant to brush his teeth. Choose a toothpaste that your child likes.

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Meet the dentist

Familiarising your children with the dentist early can mean that they are more cooperative later on. When you visit a practice such as https://cathedraldentalclinic.com/cosmetic-dentistry-cardiff/#main for a check-up, take your children so they can see it is not scary.

Teaching children how to brush their teeth at their early age may make cosmetic dentistry very easy and natural.

Flossing

Between the ages of around two to five, the teeth begin to close together; this is when you need to introduce flossing. Coloured flossers are more attractive to children than conventional floss.

The right diet

Many parents give their children snacks that they believe to be healthy throughout the day, but these can be responsible for tooth decay. According to the Express, fruit juices, dried fruit and yoghurts that are often seen as healthy snacks can cause tooth decay. It is how often the teeth are exposed to sugary food that poses a problem. Plain water and milk are better than juice, and snacks such as cheese and crunchy raw vegetables like carrot sticks are preferable.

Positive reinforcement

A rewards chart can motivate your children to brush their teeth. These can be downloaded from the internet and printed so they can record each time they brush their teeth and earn rewards at the end of the week.

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