Just lay the foundation. That’s all you can do. Do our kids have great technique with brushing and flossing? Honestly, do any kids? My goal has been to make sure they at least brush morning and night and floss every now and then, maybe use some mouth wash. Since they don’t have a lot of cavities, I think this approach is working out OK.
Here’s the way I view it, and our dentist think this is reasonable: It’s easier to take a kid who already brushes morning and night and get them to improve their technique so they are doing a really good job than it is to take someone who has, for instance, never brushed at night and get them to remember to brush every night. Building habits takes time. If you ingrain the habit from toddlerhood, they already have it when they are big.
I have never even heard of a person who genuinely likes flossing, although I suppose someone somewhere might and my kids did like using a Water Pic to floss. Yes, I understand it’s important, but I’m realistic. Getting an adult to floss is tough. A kid? Yowzers. Therefore, I go with getting my kids to use mouthwash. It helps clean and protect teeth with approximately 1/10000 the arguments. Kids have to be old enough to not swallow it, of course, but once they are, it’s light years easier than flossing.
Ignoring all the advice about what’s ideal and what you “need” to do, when it comes to dental care, just try to get your kids to brush in the morning, and brush and use mouthwash before bed. If you can do that, then you’ve given their teeth and gums a fighting chance. I know my kids are better than I was at their age and they are improving a bit with every visit.
- Tasty Paste Toothpaste – Flouride toothpaste sold in pediatric dentist’s offices, they had the only flavors my kids would use.
- Water Pic – It’s a way of flossing using water instead of dental floss.
- Electric Toothbrush – Once they get a little bigger, an electric toothbrush is a good investment. While we spent about $150 on one several years ago, we have not spent hundreds repairing cavities since then. I’m pretty sure we have had a net savings thanks to a decrease in cavities related, in part, to using a much more effective toothbrush.
- Electric Toddler Toothbrush – They need a much smaller, gentler brush, so Sonicare (and others) made them. We buy Sonicare for the simple reason that our dentist recommends them.