Learning to brush your teeth is a lot like learning to tie your shoes: it takes a lot of patience and dexterity. In the beginning, you do it for your child. Once they learn, you let them take over, but you still check to make sure that they’ve done in correctly.
Until your child can tie their own shoes, you should be brushing their teeth for them. Of course it’s ok for them to pretend or practice brushing, but their level of dexterity simply isn’t good enough for thorough plaque removal. Show your child how to brush making small circles on the teeth, just two teeth at a time. Set up a timer, clock, or their favorite song to make sure that the brushing session lasts at least two minutes. Do this both in the morning and before bed.
Once your child is able to start brushing well on their own, encourage them to do so. Feel free to follow up behind them at least once a day to do a once-over and make sure all of the plaque has been removed.
Don’t forget flossing! Brushing alone isn’t enough to keep your child’s mouth cavity free. It’s also important to clean between their teeth. Disposable floss picks are perfectly fine for young mouths, but into their teen years they will need to start using regular floss or a water flosser to be more effective.
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6300 Hospital Pkwy # 275
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