Teaching A Small Child About Proper Tooth Care

If you have a toddler at home, you will want to teach them the value in taking care of their teeth properly. Children will often learn a lot by mimicking others and with hand-on methods. Here are some ways you can teach your child about taking care of the teeth in an attempt to get them started with a lifetime of proper methods in keeping their teeth and gums healthy.

Teach By Example

Children learn by example, meaning if you do proper tooth care methods yourself, they will most likely do the same. Take time to show your child how to brush their teeth the right way by showing them how you brush your own teeth. Have your child stand on a step-stool next to you so they can see into the same mirror you are using. Side-by-side, brush your teeth together. Tell your child when to switch the direction they are brushing their teeth by giving a signal. Have a timer set informing you both when you can rinse. Your child will become accustomed to this routine and will look forward to your time together taking care of your teeth.

Learn With Fun

Have your child do a tooth-themed activity to learn more about brushing and flossing. You can both look through magazines to find pictures of people smiling. Rip out these pages and place them into plastic sheet protectors. Color black dots with a dry-erase marker on each sheet protector over the smiling mouths of the pictures showing through. Attach a dry eraser to the end of a ruler using double-sided tape. Have your child pretend this is a large toothbrush and have them brush away the bacteria from the sheet protectors so the people have white smiles once again.

Take A Field Trip

Call your dentist's office to set up an appointment for a tour of the facility. Make sure the dentist will be available to speak with after you bring your child to see what the office looks like inside. Have your child sit in the dentist's chair and point out the different instruments used to help remove plaque and bacteria from the teeth. Show them how the sink works for rinsing during a tooth cleaning.

Doing these small tasks at the same time you have a tooth cleaning appointment yourself will be even more beneficial. Your child will be able to watch as the hygienist works at cleaning your teeth, making the procedure familiar so when it is their own turn to go to the dentist for a cleaning they will feel comfortable with the process. For more information, talk to a professional like Dr. Susan Bracker, DDS.