Helping your child learn good dental hygiene habits is easy – and can be great fun too! Children love to copy their parents, providing an excellent opportunity to teach brushing skills that will promote a lifetime of good dental health.
Choose an appropriately sized toothbrush for your child. There are lots of child-size toothbrushes available and your child will feel extra special having his or her very own toothbrush. Some toothbrushes even feature characters from popular children’s television programs, adding that little bit of extra fun.
Whilst your child may initially need your hands-on help to ensure a thorough clean, giving your child the chance to finish the brushing session on their own can be a great confidence builder. Try brushing your teeth at the same time as your child. If you can safely elevate your child so that you can both see into a mirror while brushing you will soon find your child mimicking your brushing technique. Pull funny faces and make it fun. Some parents even have a special song to sing at brushing time.
It’s also important to make sure you’re using the right toothpaste for your child’s age group. The Australian Dental Association (ADA) recommends the following:
- Do not use fluoride toothpaste in children under 18 months of age
- Choose a low-fluoride toothpaste for children 18 months to six years of age
- Apply only a smear to the toothbrush and force it into the bristles
- Ensure your child spits out the toothpaste after brushing
- Store all toothpastes out of your child’s reach. Some children love the taste of toothpaste and will eat it if given the opportunity.
The information contained on this website and websites linked to this website (Information) does not constitute or comprise comprehensive medical or dental advice. You should seek dental advice directly from your dentist before acting or relying on the Information.
First published: 06 November 2014