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Getting children to brush better

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You may be surprise to hear that being a dentist does not make it easier for me to get my kids to brush better – but here are a few tips I use that help develop children’s oral health habits.

1. Buy them a simple spinning brush at the grocery store- many are under $10, and some even have timers.

2. Use an egg timer to ensure they brush for the whole 2 minutes – it will seem like a lifetime to them.

3. Use Listerine’s Agent Cool Blue before they brush to show what has built up on their teeth – or afterwards, to show what they have been missing.  Once their technique is better, continue to use it as an occasional test and review.

4. Have Mom or Dad re-brush all children’s teeth once a day until they are seven years old.

5. Start teaching kids to use floss and a Waterpik as young as possible.

6. For very small children, use fluoride-free toothpaste until they are capable of spitting it out instead of swallowing it. You can usually find fluoride-free options in the regular toothpaste aisle at the store.

7. Every child should have a dental exam by the age of 3 years old.

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