Do you struggle to get your kids to brush their teeth before bed? Morning routines filled with whining and stalling? Establishing good habits like regular brushing is critical for your children’s dental health.
The good news is there are practical morning and evening routines you can use to ditch the drama and help your children build habits they’ll thank you for later. Read on for tips to make brushing drama-free and establishing habits for healthy smiles.
The Essential Morning Routines
Start your child’s day off right with a morning routine that prioritizes dental health. The best time for children to brush their teeth in the morning is after breakfast.
In addition to cleaning your teeth, brushing helps to freshen your child’s breath by removing plaque and food debris that accumulates overnight.
Furthermore, it helps remove any sugars or acids from breakfast foods that could damage tooth enamel if left on teeth for too long.
It is important to remind them to brush their teeth for at least two minutes, if they are capable of doing so themselves, or to assist them in brushing to ensure all surfaces of their teeth are thoroughly cleaned.
If you find your child always running late and not having enough time to brush their teeth properly in the morning, try getting them up 10 minutes earlier so they can dedicate the needed time to oral hygiene before heading off to school.
Soothing Bedtime Routines
As the sunset signals the end of the day, it’s time to begin the “Brush, Book, Bed” bedtime routine recommended by the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP).
While this routine primarily aims to establish a consistent and soothing bedtime habit for children, an important secondary benefit is promoting better oral health.
By seamlessly integrating tooth brushing into the bedtime flow, children will learn to associate brushing with getting ready for bed. This encourages regular brushing, ultimately contributing to healthier teeth and gums in the years ahead.
Each night, help your children brush their teeth thoroughly or remind them to do it themselves before bed. Make sure they also floss their teeth if they haven’t had the opportunity to do so during the day.
After brushing, read a favorite book together. Reading not only helps develop your child’s language development and social-emotional skills, but it also creates special bonding time between parents and children.
In addition, it limits exposure to food and drinks before sleep, giving the teeth a chance to remineralize and recover during the night.
Finally, the AAP recommends getting kids to bed at a regular time each evening. A consistent bedtime routine signals the brain and body that it’s time to relax and prepare for rest. Getting enough sleep is paramount for your child’s overall health and well-being.
Getting Your Child on Board with These Routines
Of course, no two kids are alike. Some may resist new routines or need extra motivation. Here are some tips to gain buy-in:
- Introduce routines slowly. Start with small steps like dedicating 10 minutes before bed to wind down. Then, build from there.
- Positive reinforcement. You can use sticker reward charts to motivate your child and keep track of their good behavior.
- Give choices. Have your child pick out brushing songs or colorful toothbrushes. Let your child decide which books to read. This gives them some control.
- Involve kids. Ask for input on routines and remind them of the benefits of these routines for their teeth.
- Be consistent. Following routines daily, even on weekends, will help them stick.
- Adjust with age. Tweak routines based on your child’s evolving needs and abilities as they grow.
Give Your Child the Gift of a Lifetime: Healthy Teeth!
Establishing solid dental health routines for your child takes effort but pays off over time. Their beautiful, beaming smiles will make it all worthwhile!
At Lafayette Pediatric Dentistry, we’re passionate about helping your child develop healthy dental habits that will last a lifetime.
Our kid-friendly office provides compassionate care in a fun, engaging environment that takes the fear out of dentistry.
Our dedicated staff guides you every step of the way, from tooth brushing techniques to nutrition advice, so your child’s smile stays healthy and bright. Invest in your child’s health by scheduling an appointment with our pediatric dental specialists.
Preventative care and early intervention can help avoid expensive, invasive treatments. We want to partner with you to give your child the healthiest smile possible. Contact Lafayette Pediatric Dentistry today to schedule an appointment!