Is Brushing Your Kid’s Teeth A Challenge?

By: Dr. Samantha Rawdin


Do you really brush twice a day? Floss once a day? We know. It’s hard to make good habits! Solidifying your OWN oral health routine can be tough. Throwing a kid into the mix? That’s a whole other story. And multiple kids? Well, I speak from experience when I say that it’s a challenge. In honor of Children’s Dental Health Month let’s tackle this challenge together!

Managing Your Kid’s Dental Care

I have 18 month old twin boys at home. And yes, it’s a lot of work. But, being a dentist, I swore that I would be super diligent about their home care for their teeth. [Insert this goal into the folder of all of the ideals I strove for prior to becoming a parent that I am now realizing will never happen.] The reality is, I now have toddlers and getting them to do anything– including brushing their teeth– is a struggle. But, here are some tips for managing your kiddo’s teeth to help make the process a bit easier:

Tips To Get Your Child To Brush

  • Start ‘em young! If you have an infant, start by wiping their gums with a washcloth or finger brush to help desensitize them from the sensation of having their teeth brushed.
  • Use a soft children’s toothbrush and a tiny smear of toothpaste (fluoride is ok!) as soon as the first tooth comes through the gums.
  • Try a 2-on-1 approach. Try having them lay down on one parent and having the other parent brush their teeth. And if you have multiples like me, I find that focusing on one child at a time works best in our house! 
  • It’s also helpful to let your child hold one or two brushes, keeping their hands occupied, while you brush their teeth. 
  • Start small. You may only get a few seconds of brushing in at a time. Over time, you’ll slowly start to build up your child’s tolerance. 
  • Give them choices! Let your child pick their flavor of toothpaste or buy a brush with their favorite characters. 
  • Ideally you want to brush their teeth twice a day. It won’t be perfect everyday, but if you miss the morning, make sure you do a thorough job that night. 
  • You can bring your kiddos to the pediatric dentist as early as when their first tooth erupts or by their first birthday. 

I have found that reframing my expectations has helped me accept that I won’t do a perfect job every time I try to brush my kids’ teeth. But, I still hold myself accountable to do a good job MOST of the time. Kids thrive on routines. Stick with it to keep their oral health in good shape!

Call 212.246.8700 to find out more information or click here to schedule an appointment with Gallery57Dental. 

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