Children should be taught the importance of taking care of their teeth. There are many children who suffer with painful cavities and bad breath because they don’t know the proper way to brush. The following 4 steps will teach and encourage your child to develop good teeth brushing habits.

Step 1 – Get in the habit of a brushing routine every morning, afternoon, and night for 2 to 3 minutes each time. Children under 2 years old should use a non-fluoride toothpaste to keep from upsetting the stomach. Children over 2 can use a pea-sized amount of fluoride toothpaste.

Step 2 – Up until the age of 2, you should be brushing their teeth for them. At the age of 2, show your child the appropriate way to use the toothbrush.

  • Brush all the inside surfaces of all teeth first angling the bristles 45 degrees towards the gumline. Using a circular motion, brush one to two teeth at a time.
  • Brush the outside surfaces of all teeth using the same circular motion.
  • Brush the chewing surfaces of the teeth.
  • Brush the tongue.
  • After showing him/her a few times, let them try doing it.

    Step 3 – Children learn from their parents. Be a good role model and brush your teeth three times a day. Watching you, it will encourage your child to do the same.

    Step 4 – If the child did not brush correctly, show them the correct way and have them do it again. Checking your child’s teeth everyday will let you know if they brushed or not and if they did it correctly.

    Over 40 percent of children have cavities by the time they start kindergarten. Speak to your child about the danger of cavities in a firm but kind way. When your child does a good job brushing, give them praise.

    Children should be supervised when brushing their teeth until the age of 6. Be sure that they know that toothpaste is not something to eat.

    People often wonder why it is important to keep baby teeth healthy if they are only going to fall out anyway. Baby teeth are the guides for adult teeth. When they fall out prematurely because of decay, the adult teeth may not have enough room to come in properly.

    Your teeth are priceless and meant to last a lifetime. Instilling good brushing habits in children at a young age is a behavior that will benefit them all their life.