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Teaching your child the right toothbrushing technique is an essential step against tooth decay, but how do you go about it and when is the right time to start? Did you know that tooth brushing should be done even before your kids’ first tooth emerges? Keeping the gums clean and introducing your child to good oral hygiene starts young. Let’s have a closer look at how to teach kids to brush their teeth.


The Importance Of Brushing Teeth

Brushing teeth is an oral care habit that needs to be instilled from a young age, and the first step in the process is to get a young baby used to having something put in their mouth. Before the first teeth emerge, you will first use your clean finger and a soft cloth to gently wipe your baby’s gums. This is a step that builds trust and also demonstrates how important it is to practice good oral hygiene.


Why Your Baby Needs A General Check Up?

Your child’s relationship with their dentist will start just after the first tooth has erupted. Your baby’s gums will be itchy and he or she will be producing excess saliva. It’s a good time to take your child to the dentist, who will be able to give you a tutorial or two to help you with brushing teeth. You can use a soft-bristled toothbrush or a soft cloth, taking care to clean along the gums in order to remove any bacteria, as well as any tooth surfaces.

You do not need to use toothpaste until around 18 months of age. Even then, only a pea-sized amount of low fluoride toothbrush is necessary, and you should ensure that your child doesn’t swallow it.


How To Teach Kids To Brush Their Teeth?

Hopefully, by the time your child is old enough to brush his or her own teeth, the experience will be framed as positive and your child will be excited to do it independently. 

Sit with your child on your lap, facing a mirror. Place one hand under the chin and the other gently on your child’s head.

Brush the teeth gently, working in small circles across the tooth surfaces (it’s important to be gentle as the teeth are very small. Work systematically from one side of the jaw to the other.

practice how to teach kids to brush their teeth burwoodEncourage your child to rinse and spit the toothpaste out after you are finished brushing teeth.

Try to make conversation with your child, keeping the experience pleasant. Talk to your child about what you are doing and why it is so important, and how one day, your child will do this important job on his/her own.

How to teach kids to brush their teeth: when are they old enough to do it alone? Toddlers love to be autonomous and once they feel independent enough, will want to brush their teeth on their own. But it’s important to note that it’s only around the age of eight that children have the fine motor skills to do the job on their own. Until that time, it’s advisable to oversee your child’s brushing and to make sure that he or she is doing a thorough job.


The Importance Of A General Check Up

Your dentist is your greatest ally in the battle against tooth decay, and your child needs to visit your dental practitioner every six months to keep an eye on any early tooth decay. During your check ups, your dentist can assist you with dental hygiene tips and give your child advice on brushing teeth. He or she will also clean your child’s teeth professionally to remove any traces of plaque or tartar and polish them. 

Even if you do not think it’s necessary, a general check up can alert you to any problems with your child’s dental hygiene early on, before they become bigger problems.


Brushing Teeth: How To Make It Fun?

Brushing our teeth is a habit but it doesn’t have to be boring. Younger children may still find the exercise tedious despite your best efforts but you can make it a fun experience for your child by

  • Making light conversation and jokes
  • Show a video about oral hygiene or toothbrushing
  • Invest in an electric toothbrush that has lights or music
  • Brush your teeth together


Need to know how to teach kids to brush their teeth properly? It’s always best to speak to a professional. Make an appointment at our family-friendly practice or reserve your slot for your general check up: (02) 8203 8760.

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