Healthy Habits, Healthy Teeth: 5 Important Oral Hygiene Behaviors to Teach your Children

When your children first start brushing and cleaning their own teeth, it’s important to make sure they learn the correct methods early. Here are the 5 most important hygiene habits to teach your kids.

Timing is Important: Teach 2×2

To make sure your child is taking care of their teeth properly, they need to be brushing enough to ensure their mouth is getting the cleaning it needs. Two times a day is usually enough to make sure your child’s mouth is staying clean. And while brushing often is necessary, don’t forget that to make sure they’re brushing for enough each time as well. Experts have determined that it takes at least two minutes to effectively clean the whole mouth when brushing.

Cleaning Correctly

On the topic of cleaning teeth properly, teaching your children the proper method to brush is equally as crucial as teaching them to brush enough. Have them hold the brush at a 45-degree angle and brush with circular strokes on the front and back of teeth. Then, use sweeping, side-to-side strokes to clean across the chewing surface (the top) of the teeth. Be sure that they brush each tooth in this way each time they brush.

Don’t Forget the Tongue!

Now we’ve made sure the teeth are clean, but they aren’t the only thing in your child’s mouth that needs brushing. The tongue gets bacteria build up the same as teeth, so it needs to be brushed similarly as well. Have your child brush their tongue both from front to back and side to side once all the teeth are clean. Many people neglect to brush their tongue since it’s at no risk of cavities. However, tongue bacteria can lead to bad breath and is generally bad to keep in the mouth for oral health reasons, so make sure your child understands how important proper tongue brushing is.

Add Flossing Into the Equation

Flossing regularly is just as necessary as brushing regularly for good dental hygiene. Brushing alone isn’t enough to completely get rid of the particles and bacteria between teeth which lead to the formation of plaque. Cleaning this out means flossing between each tooth at least once a day. There are still so many people who omit flossing from their daily cleaning, so make sure your children practice and understand the importance of flossing daily.

Establish a Routine

For creating dental hygiene habits like these into your child’s routine, make them a part of their daily schedule. No matter what the activity is, doing it at the same time everyday enforces the behavior and makes people more likely to continue the activity as a daily occurrence. Have set times for your children to clean their mouth, such as brushing first thing in the morning and last thing before bed. Before long, they might even start doing this without prompting!

Proper habits like these are needed to keep your children’s teeth healthy. Make sure your child visits the dentist regularly for a proper evaluation to make sure your child stays cavity free.  At The Children’s Dental Center, we’re committed to the health and hygiene of your children’s teeth and mouth. Contact us today!

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