Do you remember learning to brush your teeth and floss? Probably not – you were taught by your parents when you were probably just a couple years old! Daily brushing and flossing becomes a habit pretty quickly, and not because we love to do it! It’s because it’s something we’re used to as a daily part of our routine!
Making sure your children learn good oral habits at an early age is an essential part of their lives! We at Panama City Smiles want to help make your job an easy one by providing some important tips to make your job easier. It can be hard to make kids want to brush and floss!
Brushing And Flossing: When To Start?
This is a question we hear at our Panama City dentist office a lot – when should you stop brushing your child’s teeth and let them do it on their own? It’s a tricky question to answer, especially since every child develops at different speeds!
For the most part a child should start brushing their own teeth as soon as they are coordinated enough to do it effectively. This usually happens by the time they are six years old. Prior to that you want to make sure you’re doing the brushing for them but it’s okay to let them do it on their own for practice – just make sure you go over them afterward.
When it comes to flossing you should be doing it for your children the moment their teeth are close enough together to not allow the brush to pass through easily! It’s easiest to floss your child’s teeth with a disposable plastic flosser. By the time your child is old enough to brush on their own they should start flossing on their own as well!
Ownership Engages Children!
It can be hard to get a child to participate in the brushing process, especially when they’re young. It’s important that they see good habits so they can learn from them, and children often need to learn by doing!
To help keep your child interested in caring for their teeth we recommend letting them pick out their toothpaste and brush. Many products for children feature their favorite characters and letting them have something they identify with can help get them excited about caring for their teeth!
Motivating Your Child To Brush And Floss
It can be hard to motivate a child – and a teenager – to brush and floss. Not only is it hard to get them to do it at all but it can be even harder to ensure they’re being thorough enough! At Panama City Smiles we recommend using what young people are best at to motivate them: technology!
There are a lot of apps for smartphones out there that act as brushing timers, and some of them even play music from the device they’re installed on! These apps give a timer of two minutes – the ideal time for brushing your teeth – and some even have indicators saying where in the mouth you should be at that time!
These apps have been proven to work, too! A study performed by the British National Health System found amazingly positive results in support of brushing timers! 70 percent of young people who use them said they made them feel more motivated to brush, 80 percent said their teeth felt cleaner, and 90 percent said that they would recommend a brushing timer app to their friends!
Professional Care Is Just As Important!
Teaching your children great oral care habits doesn’t all happen at home! The care they receive at our Panama City dentist office is just as essential to keeping them healthy! Twice-a-year dental checkups are part of keeping your teeth in the best shape possible and that’s just another habit you should pass on to them!
Those six month appointments should start young – as soon as the first tooth comes in! Start your children’s oral health future off right with an appointment at Panama City Smiles today!