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How to Practice Oral Hygiene with Your Toddlers
Ensuring good dental habits at a young age makes sure that young children grow to have strong and healthy teeth. Prevention of tooth decay and cavities at an early age helps grow teeth that last into adulthood and helps prevent further health problems. It is important to demonstrate the importance of dental hygiene to young children to make them understand the importance of oral health. This would also help them understand how other health issues arise due to poor dental hygiene. In elementary classrooms dental hygiene blends well with other health topics however you should not wait till elementary school to educate your child on good oral care.
There are many activities that you could use to encourage your children to brush their teeth. Some would say the right age to get your child to start brushing their teeth would be about 2-3 years however if given the proper encouragement and with a lot of patience you could even get a 1 year old to start brushing his or her teeth on their own.
When you are brushing your teeth in the morning make sure that your child sees you doing this daily activity. Buy them their own tooth brush so that they can try and imitate you while you brush your teeth. Get soft tooth-brushes which are foam or rubber coated to prevent them from hurting your child. Initially when your child starts brushing his or her teeth do not apply any paste on the brush as they might swallow the paste. Go through the actions of brushing, gargling and rinsing your mouth and get them to try and do the same. Once you are confident that they are capable to handle the tooth brush on their own introduce tooth-paste in very minute quantities as they might tend to eat it. In general tooth-paste is not harmful if ingested however don’t encourage them to eat it.
Buy a new tooth brush for them often. Children get attracted to new things and prefer using them inspiring them to head straight to the sink to brush their teeth. You could also invest in a mouth model to explain to your child the different types of teeth that the mouth contains. This could also be used to demonstrate the right technique to be used while brushing the teeth. Children are fast learners and learning can be reinforced with the use of audio and visual aids.