Some parents believe that their child’s primary teeth are less important than their secondary teeth. Take it from the team at Dr. Steven W. Haywood in Timonium: that is incorrect.
The thinking goes like this: “They’re going to fall out, right? We’ll get serious about oral hygiene when their big teeth come in.”
Your child’s primary teeth, or baby teeth, are just as important to their health, speech development, and confidence as their permanent teeth.
The twenty primary teeth set the stage for a beautiful smile. Taking care of them is vital!
When Brushing Is A Battle
A child’s dislike is understandable. A parent takes a pokey bristly thing, smears some minty paste on it, puts it in their mouth and scrubs their teeth with it. No wonder it doesn’t appeal to some toddlers. Sometimes parents want to give up the struggle until their child is older.
We urge you to keep trying. Here are some recommendations for toothbrushing tantrums.
Go Easy On The Toothpaste
If the toothpaste is the problem, brush with a smaller amount or even without it at first. The goal is to remove food particles that will lead to plaque and bacteria, eventually causing decay. Toothpaste is not necessary for removing food particles. Fluoride is important, however. If you are concerned that your child isn’t getting enough, talk to Steve Haywood about fluoride supplements.
Let Your Child Pick Their Toothbrush
Take your son or daughter to the store and have him or her select a new, soft-bristled toothbrush. Maybe buy two, so he or she has some control in picking which one to use each time Let your child do the brushing first, then inspect and brush the areas that might have been skipped over.
Make Brushing Family Fun
Brush together as a family. Let your son or daughter know that everyone needs to brush and floss their teeth at least twice a day. Make it fun.
Baby Steps At First
To develop the habit, keep the time short and slowly lengthen the sessions. Brush heads are hard with bristles that poke. Toothpaste may seem “hot” to some kids. Teaching your child that brushing is non-negotiable is the important first step. After it has become part of the routine, add time by singing songs or brushing your teeth at the same time. Some Maryland parents have had success with setting a timer.
Remember The Reinforcement
Compliment your child on their outstanding effort in taking care of themselves. Be sure to preserve a positive attitude. Let your child know that you love their pleasing smile and want it to always be shiny white. Positive reinforcement and establishing a routine are vital parts of childhood dental brushing. We want children to be committed to a habit that will influence their health throughout their life.
At Dr. Steven W. Haywood in Timonium, the dental health of each patient is important. We want everyone to brush and floss daily. Our services include general and cosmetic dentistry. Schedule an appointment today.
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