Assisting your children in the development of good dental hygiene techniques takes time and a lot of practice. Consistency is most important when you are trying to teach your child about properly caring for their teeth. Starting a routine will help them understand and develop the skills that they will need to continue caring for their teeth for the rest of their lives. As a parent, you need to practice the same techniques that you are teaching as well, it becomes a monkey-see, monkey-do scenario.
Having the skills to properly take care of your teeth when you are younger will greatly minimize any dental issues when you get older. Naturally, some people have to work a little harder at maintaining that perfect smile but knowing how to teach dental hygiene is a skill all on its own. From the time that your child is born, after they eat, their mouths should be getting wiped out with a damp rag or baby toothbrush. There is a common misconception that because your child has no teeth, there is no need to worry. This fallacy has caused babies to develop harmful bacteria in their mouths, which turn into rashes such as thrush.
Once your child breaks its first tooth, you should go visit a dentist. As a professional, they will be able to guide you in the steps that need to be taken from here on out. Many will tell you to brush in the morning and at nighttime, as well as not giving your child anything other than water to drink for bedtime. As your child gets slightly older, a good option for a toothbrush to purchase is an electric one! This virtually eliminates the difficulty a younger child may have and they can pick out a ‘special’ character to help them.
Once children have established a good routine, they may need some fluoride supplements or flossing. There are flossers that are manufactured specifically for children, again, eliminating some difficulty. Speaking to a dentist about the necessity of flossing and fluoride is suggested though. Some children do not require either of these things and may not until they are older. It may not hurt to make tooth brushing, a fun part of your daily routine. If your child sees that you are having fun and everyone in the family is doing the same thing, they in turn will have fun as well.