Dental care is important at every age. While your child won’t be brushing their teeth themselves until they have the dexterity and coordination to do so without injuring themselves, you still need to be keeping their teeth clean until they are old enough to start learning how to do it on their own.

Once your child is old enough to brush their teeth alone, usually by age eight, it’s important that you teach them why dental care is important and why they should see the dentist regularly. Teaching them like this may also help keep them from being afraid to see the dentist.

Making It Fun

Start out by making sure that brushing their teeth is fun. There are a few ways to do that. Start by getting them kid’s toothpaste, which will be a flavor that children like, like bubblegum or strawberry. You should also get them a toothbrush that is fun and that they like to use.

You can reward them with something fun for remember to brush their teeth on their own, like a dollar or a new book. Rewarding healthy behavior is important and it ensures that you child will want to brush their teeth.

Timing Them

You need to brush your teeth for two minutes at a time, twice a day, and so do your kids. While they do make toothbrushes for kids that play a two minute tune, you can also simply set your kitchen timer to two minutes. Two minutes gives you plenty of time to get every tooth, both front and back.

Flossing Rules

At eight your child may still not be ready to floss on their own, but it is still important to floss their teeth. When they are ready to do it on their own they will already have healthy teeth from you doing it for them. Buy them flavored dental floss and they will have more fun doing this sometimes tedious dental care technique that should be done every day.

Schedule It

Kids need to go to the dentist from the moment they have teeth. The health of their teeth and mouths is just as important in childhood as it is in adulthood. That means you need to get regular visits to the dentist for cleanings and make sure that your child’s teeth are growing healthy. Dentists will also be able to tell oral problems early on, such as weak enamel or susceptibility to gum disease, when kids get their semi-annual dental exams.

Teaching your child early to care for their smile will help them keep their teeth looking healthy and white for a much longer time.  The things a healthy and shiny smile can do for you are wonderful, and if you don’t take care of your teeth it can harm your life. Even a missing front tooth can have people looking at you differently.