Teaching Your Child to Brush

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If you are lucky, your child is excited to brush her teeth. She bounds out of bed every morning and makes a bee-line for the sink, ready scrub her teeth; and she looks forward to brushing her teeth every night. However, many parents discover that convincing their child to brush her teeth can be a bit of a chore. Let’s talk about some things that you can do to keep the Battle of the Brush from breaking out in your home.

First, let your child be involved in picking out her own toothbrush and toothpaste, so that she is invested in the process. Let her choose a toothbrush in her favorite color, or in the shape of her favorite cartoon character or superhero. It should be easy for her to handle, and the head should be small enough that the toothbrush can reach every part of her mouth. Toothpastes come in all sorts of kid-friendly tubes and flavors. Let your child select her own toothpaste, just be sure that it contains fluoride and carries the American Dental Association Seal of Acceptance.

To keep her interested in brushing, buy her a toothbrush for her to practice with on stuffed animals, dolls or action figures. You and your child can watch videos and read books about brushing one’s teeth. You might try singing a song with her when it is time for her to brush, and of course, praise and encouragement for a job well done are great motivators.

The most important thing that you can do as parent is to set a good example by letting your child see you taking care of your own teeth. It is not a bad idea for you to brush your teeth with your child so that she can learn the proper techniques from you. Teach her to brush her teeth for two minutes at a time, holding the toothbrush at a 45-degree angle to her teeth. Show her how to brush in short strokes, away from her gumline, making sure that she brushes the fronts, backs and chewing and biting surfaces.

If you have questions or concerns about your child’s oral health, or if you are looking for a pediatric dentist for your child, Dr. Danielle Funny and Dr. Sonya Maynor would love to meet you. To make an appointment at University Pediatric Dentistry in Charlotte, North Carolina, call 704-688-1664. We look forward to welcoming you and your child to our practice!