Today I’m going to try and explain how to brush your child’s teeth. Most parents are very afraid of this. It doesn’t go well and it becomes a chore for them. Brushing has to be fun. Your child has to see you brush. When you brush, you have to smile, crack jokes and do a little twirl. They need to understand that this is fun. I would not introduce toothpaste. Don’t let them see you brushing with toothpaste because they’re going to want it. Toothpaste will shorten the whole process and makes a mess. They may not like the taste of toothpaste and may be swallowing it.
The first moment of brushing has to be a good experience. You don’t need to always go to the bathroom. The child should know that brushing anywhere is fine. Try brush after the meal if possible and get that behavior reinforced. The toothbrush has to be ultra-soft enough.
I don’t lay her down because the gag reflex is higher and more prominent when they’re on their back. They’re more worried about their airway. So keep them upright or lean forward a little bit. When you’re brushing in the bathroom, hold them in front of the mirror so they can see themselves. You’re both looking in the mirror and brushing together.
The last point I want to make is you cannot assume that until age eight and in some cases later that they are brushing their teeth properly. You need, as a parent, to brush their teeth after every meal.