Some parents believe that their child’s primary teeth are less important than their permanent teeth. The thinking goes like this: “They’re going to fall out, right? We’ll get serious about oral hygiene when their big teeth come in.” This is completely wrong, and at Hammond Aesthetic & General Dentistry in Provo, we take the dental health of children very seriously.
Your child’s primary teeth, or baby teeth, are just as vital to their health, speech development, and morale as their permanent teeth.
The twenty primary teeth set the stage for a beautiful smile. Taking care of them is important.
When Brushing Is A Battle
A child’s resistance is understandable. A parent takes a pokey bristly thing, smears some minty paste on it, puts it in their mouth and scrubs their teeth with it. No wonder it doesn’t appeal to some toddlers. Sometimes parents want to give up the struggle until their child is older.
We urge you to keep trying. Here are some tips for toothbrushing tantrums.
Go Easy On The Toothpaste
If the toothpaste is the problem, brush with a smaller amount or even without it at first. The goal is to remove food particles that will lead to plaque and bacteria, eventually causing decay. Toothpaste is not necessary for removing food particles. Fluoride is important, however.
Let Your Child Pick Their Toothbrush
Take your youngster to the store for a new, soft-bristled toothbrush. Maybe buy two, so he or she has some control in picking which one to use each time. Let your child do the brushing first, then check and brush the areas that might have been missed.
Make Brushing Family Fun
Brush together as a family. Let your son or daughter know that everyone needs to brush and floss their teeth at least twice a day. Make it fun.
Baby Steps At First
To develop the habit, keep the time short and slowly extend the sessions. Brush heads are hard with bristles that poke. Toothpaste may seem “hot” to some babies. Teaching your child that brushing is non-negotiable is the critical first step. After it has become part of the routine, add time by singing songs or brushing your teeth at the same time. Some Utah parents have had success with setting a timer.
Remember The Reinforcement
Compliment your child on their marvelous effort in taking care of themselves. Be sure to maintain a positive attitude. Let your child know that you love their pleasing smile and want it to always be shiny white. Positive reinforcement and establishing a routine are vital parts of childhood dental brushing. We want children to be enthusiastic about a habit that will affect their health throughout their life.
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