Getting Kids to Brush

Tuesday, September 25th, 2012, 9:22 pm

Getting kids to brush their teeth has always been tough. Sometimes they go through stages where they are wonderful about brushing twice each day for the full two minutes each time. Then there are those times when they get stubborn.

For younger kids there are lots of tooth brushing videos on YouTube. The other day we discovered one called “Crawford the Cat” that shows children the importance of brushing and flossing every day. I don’t know how old this video is but it does a good job of showing children how much toothpaste to use and how long they should brush. It also makes a point of teaching children to turn off the water while they are brushing so they don’t waste this precious resource. You can link to this video here:

Parents need to start cleaning their children’s teeth as soon as they appear, or even earlier! After feedings you can use a piece of gauze or soft finger brush to wipe the baby’s gums. One the first tooth has appeared you can start brushing using a baby toothbrush. This is also the time to call to book your baby’s first dentist appointment. I know it seems a little early but by looking at those first few teeth we can get an idea if your baby might be at high risk for tooth decay in the future.

As children get older they should be brushing and flossing every day just like mom and dad. You are still going to have to supervise but they should be doing the actual brushing. Most children are pretty compliant about oral care during their elementary school years. As kids get closer to puberty many of them start to slack off on their tooth brushing – and by this time parents have gotten tired of supervising the nightly ritual so we start to see a little more decay. A little nagging might be needed during these years.

Once the kids become teenagers their diet and soft-drink consumption is often out of the direct control of parents. This is the time to remind them that bad breath often comes from oral bacteria and that energy drinks and sodas can discolor their smile. The problem continues when they leave for college. The stress, poor diet and erratic hours of a college student often lead to a new round of tooth decay!

Keep your kids teeth as healthy as possible by scheduling regular dental visits. Please contact Wilbanks Smile Center in Toccoa, GA today at 706-886-9439 to book your next appointment.


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Category: cavities, oral health

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