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If you have a toddler or small child at home, this routine is all too familiar.  For parents, brushing and flossing is often times the most dreaded part of a child’s daily routine.

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The 20 Steps to Brush Your Child’s Teeth

February 26, 2016
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Written by: Dr. AnnaKate Tatum

February is National Children’s Dental Health Month. While the focus is on children’s teeth, the burden of a child’s oral care falls on the parents.

If you have a toddler or small child at home, this routine is all too familiar.  For parents, brushing and flossing is often times the most dreaded part of a child’s daily routine.  It should come as no surprise that only 28% of American parents would give their kids an “A” grade for oral health.  Nearly 9/10 parents say their children aren’t brushing as well as they could be. Oral hygiene habits, rather than genetics or children’s diets, are most important factors in children’s overall oral health.

The usual routine at our house is the following 20 steps to brush teeth:

  1. Announce: “It’s time to brush your teeth!”
  2. Wait for the crying to stop.
  3. Explain that brushing your teeth is not a punishment.
  4. Explain that brushing is not a new concept.
  5. Explain that, yes, brushing will happen every night and every morning.
  6. Console your toddler.
  7. Announce: “It’s still time to brush your te