Getting Real with Shadra Bruce

From the first moment of the sighting of the first tooth, you should be teaching your child how to brush their teeth. In the beginning, it’s just about building good habits, so rather than make it a chore, make it fun!

1. Brush with your child! Show your child that brushing is easy and fun. Stand together in front of a mirror and let your child mimic your brushing techniques. You can do this from the time your child is an infant and continue the practice as they are old enough to brush their own teeth.

2. Get your child a cool toothbrush. As your toddler takes an interest in brushing, let them go to the store and choose a toothbrush. At this age, the only real requirement is a soft head, so they can pick a colored toothbrush or one with their favorite character.

3. Sing a song or set a timer. To encourage your child to brush thoroughly, have them brush for the length of a favorite song, like “Twinkle Twinkle” or get a timer they can use.

4. Make a tooth brushing chart. Having trouble motivating your child to brush? Use a chart and give them a sticker for each day they brush twice a day. Reward them for every week they brush morning and night.

Check with your pediatrician about when to schedule the first visit to the dentist. Our pediatrician recommends a visit at age four unless their are issues.