When You Should Be In Control
Children under the age of two lack the dexterity to handle a toothbrush, and very young children, those who are just starting to get their teeth, can't understand. Therefore, it is important for you to brush their teeth for them. For infants just starting to teethe, a warm, damp washcloth is usually enough to care for the gums and the few teeth that have poked through. As more teeth emerge, a small, children's toothbrush with a small amount of training toothpaste (which won't cause any harm if swallowed) can be used. Your child may want to grab the brush, so just let them hold it with you while you teach them.
Letting Children Help Gives a Sense of Control
Starting in the toddler years, children tend to like to be in control of the situation and exert their independence. You can help them exercise this by letting them pick out their very own toothbrush. Then, when it comes time to brush, be it in the morning or right before bed, stand by and monitor them. Let them brush their teeth first and then help them get the spots they most likely have missed. You can also brush your teeth at the same time, letting your child copy your movements.
As your child grows older, you can help them less and less, correcting their technique as they progress. There is no magic age that children will learn how to properly brush their teeth by themselves. But you can give them the tools they need to develop the right technique and help them develop a healthy lifelong habit that will keep their teeth strong, healthy and cavity free. If you have any questions, or if you would like to learn more, please call us today at (530) 272-5522.