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4 Helpful Tips to Teach your Toddler Good Oral Hygiene Habits

teach toddler good oral hygiene habitsPoway and Rancho Bernardo, CA

Your mouth is a window into the health of your body. In other words, good oral health is a cornerstone of good overall health. As a parent, you want the best for your child. The best thing you can do to set them up for good dental health is to make sure they develop good oral hygiene habits. Your family dentist in Poway at Smiles by Dr. Cook compiled this list of tips to help you teach your toddler the importance of good oral care.

  1. Ask your family dentist for help

Dr. Cook and her dental care team are here to help! The dental hygienists and dental assistants at Smiles by Dr. Cook have specialized training that gives them the compassion and patience to work with even very young children. Your child needs to come in for checkups every six months, just like you. At each of these appointments, Dr. Nicol Cook will conduct an examination of your child’s teeth, gums, and jawbone to make sure they are healthy and developing as they should. One of our dental hygienists also will clean your child’s teeth, removing all the tartar and plaque from them.

  1. Give your child ownership

Most children learn best by doing. Involve your child in establishing a routine for brushing their teeth and developing good oral hygiene habits. Let your child choose the toothbrush they want—maybe one in their favorite color or featuring a familiar cartoon character. You can make this a regular event, as your child’s toothbrush should be replaced every three or four months. There are also lots of brands of toothpaste out there that are geared toward children, with their bright colors and bubblegum flavoring.

  1. Follow the leader

Your children are going to look to your words and actions and imitate them—whether they’re good or bad. Be sure to set an example of what good oral care looks like. That means brushing your teeth twice a day and flossing daily. Consider brushing your teeth along with your child to model this healthy behavior. Your child can watch how you brush your teeth, then imitate. If your child gets distracted or won’t pay attention, brush your teeth together, and provide coaching as you go.

  1. Make it fun

Want your toddler to look forward to brushing time? Then consider making a silly song about it—and there’s no such thing as a song that’s too silly! You also could encourage your child by offering something inexpensive and fun afterward, like reading an extra book at bedtime or even make a sticker chart where they can track their progress each day.

Family Dentistry in Poway

At Smiles by Dr. Cook, we’re able to work with patients of any age. We also believe that it is essential for every child, and adult alike, to maintain good oral hygiene habits and routine visits to the dentist to protect their oral health and overall health. Let us help you set up your children for a lifetime of good oral health. To schedule an appointment, please call (858) 673-0141 or contact Smiles by Dr. Cook today. We welcome patients of Poway and Rancho Bernardo, California.

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