Teaching your kids good hygiene can be difficult: some kids just seem to attract dirt. Teaching your kids about good oral hygiene can be even harder. While you see them brushing their teeth, you don’t know how good of a job they’re doing. Today, we will go over how to make sure that your kids are brushing right and how you can help them keep up good habits that will carry on throughout their lives. Call East Brunswick’s favorite dentist, Dr. Nahel Yanni, D.D.S. today if you or one of your children need dental checkups or any dental procedures. We pride ourselves on providing dental work that is both thorough and caring.

What is Proper Brushing Technique?

Proper brushing techniques can be difficult to nail down,but here are some good starting points. First, use an up-and-down, slightly circular motion on the outside of each individual tooth starting at the gum line and working your way down. This ensures that you’ll brush the entire surface area. If you brush side-to-side it’s possible to miss parts of the tooth. After they get the outside surface, repeat the same kind of motion on the inside of the teeth and then move to the chewing surface.

Here are some other hints and tips:

  • It should take between two and three minutes for a proper brushing (slightly less if your kiddo doesn’t have all of their teeth yet.)
  • Don’t forget to brush the tongue to keep their breath fresh!
  • Don’t brush too hard! Brushing too hard can cause damage to teeth and gums!
  • Keep their toothbrush fresh! Replace it every three months or sooner if the bristles start looking beat up (which might happen since kids sometimes chew on their toothbrushes.)

How Long Should I Help My Kids Brush Their Teeth For?

You will want to help your kids brush their teeth until about the age of seven. This doesn’t necessarily mean that you will brush their teeth for them that entire period of time but it does mean that when they are very young you will have to. As they get older, let them brush their teeth more and more while you finish the job. By the age of seven, they should be able to brush on their own but you should watch them while they do it to make sure they’re maintaining proper technique and brushing for enough time.

How Much Toothpaste Should My Kids Use

This is one of the most common questions we’re asked when a child’s teeth start coming in, and it’s a very important question. Because children are highly likely to swallow a lot of their toothpaste instead of spitting it out like they should, you need to make sure that they’re not going to ingest a lot of it. For kids under the age of two, use just a sliver of toothpaste no larger than a grain of rice. While this might not seem like enough, it’s the perfect amount to make sure that your kid’s chompers are getting clean without swallowing too much toothpaste. If your child is between the ages of two and five, a pea-sized amount is good. After that, slowly add more to make sure that there’s enough to get all of their teeth.

How Do I Make My Kids Like Brushing Their Teeth?

It can be hard to keep a child interested or excited about brushing their teeth. After all, they’ve got a lot of things to do that are a lot more fun than standing in front of the sink. If you want them to see how fun and important brushing their teeth is, brush with them. Showing them that you enjoy it will help them enjoy it. You can also bring their favorite music into the equation by having a tooth brushing song that you listen to once or twice (depending on the length of the song) while brushing. If you feel like rewards work, don’t give them anything sweet or acidic as a reward. Instead, focus on activities like piggy-back rides or going to the park or something else that is fun but isn’t something that will make them have to brush their teeth again.

Call Dr. Nahel Yanni, D.D.S., in East Brunswick today to schedule a dental exam for you or your kids today. We do everything that we can to make going to the dentist a fun experience!