Children can be easily distracted. it‘s often very challenging to keep them focused on routine tasks, such as brushing their teeth. Dental health is vitally important for their overall health and well-being so it’s great if you can find ways to keep them interested. There are many ways of sparking their interest. Modern technology can lend a hand too!
Toothbrushes come in a variety of sizes and colours. Lots of children enjoy choosing their own brush – perhaps their favourite colour or one that features a character from a film they like. Make sure that the size is right so they can hold it comfortably in their hand and the brush head is not too big for them to use easily.
When it comes to toothpaste, all children up to three-years-old should use a toothpaste with a fluoride level of at least 1000ppm (parts per million). From three years old, children should use toothpaste that contains 13500ppm – 1500ppm. Quite often, it’s the strong minty flavour in toothpaste that children object to. Try some different flavours until you find one they like.
Two minutes of brushing can seem a long time to an adult – to children it may seem like hours! Find a song that lasts two minutes and have it playing so they can brush along to it. You can find apps like Brush DJ that have songs that are perfect for this. You may enjoy doing it too!
Most children are naturally competitive by nature so encouraging competition in the household can be a great way of ensuring everyone’s brushing is up to scratch. Electric toothbrushes do a very efficient job of keeping teeth clean, provided they are used correctly. Some of them can be linked to a smartphone app, so you can keep track online of everyone’s brushing performance. Various apps that are aimed at children use a series of rewards that can be unlocked when children are brushing well. This provides great motivation. Today’s tech savvy kids quickly learn how to use them and get a better score than their siblings or, better still, beat their mum and dad. If you don’t have a smart brush then a rewards chart can work very well instead, with mini treats like stickers to award for a top brushing performance.
All of us should be brushing our teeth twice a day for two minutes, using a fluoride toothpaste. Ideally I recommend supervising your children brushing their teeth until they are around 7 years old. The earlier they get into good habits, the better. Start taking them to the dentist as young babies. If you are not sure how children should be brushing their teeth, remember to ask your dentist for tips on how to brush most effectively so you can be sure that all your efforts are well spent.