Brushing and Flossing
Good oral hygiene removes bacteria, plaque, and left-over food particles that combine to create cavities. The enamel on baby teeth is not as thick as adult teeth; therefore, children need extra care to avoid decay.
For infants, use a clean wet washcloth to wipe the plaque from their gums. Once your child’s teeth erupt, brush them at least twice a day with a non-fluoridated toothpaste. A pea-size amount of fluoride toothpaste can be used after the child is old enough NOT to swallow it.
When teaching your child to brush, place the toothbrush at a 45-degree angle; start along the gum line with a soft bristle brush in a gentle circular motion.
• Clean the outer surfaces of your upper teeth, then your lower teeth
• Clean the inner surfaces of your upper teeth, then your lower teeth
• Clean the chewing surface
• For fresher breath, be sure to brush your tongue too
To provide the best care for your child’s teeth, they should brush for two minutes twice a day and visit the dentist for a dental health checkup two times a year.
• Use a timer or check out brushing apps for your smartphone; quality in brushing is key, so stay in front of the mirror to keep focused.
• Supervise your child’s brushing; parents should brush after their child until they are able to tie their own shoes.
• Everyone should have their own toothbrush. Do not share! Replace every three months or sooner if worn out.
You should start flossing your child’s teeth even when they only have their baby (primary) teeth. Once a child’s teeth start to fit closely together, usually between the ages of 2 and 6, parents should start to get their children in the habit of flossing daily. As they develop dexterity, you can help them learn to floss. Children usually develop the ability to floss on their own around 8-10 years of age.
To stress the importance of flossing, do it for them regularly until they are able to do it themselves. This will help them develop a good habit of flossing while they still have their baby teeth so that when their permanent teeth come in, they already have flossing worked into their daily oral routine.
Use floss that is soft and flexible so that it does not hurt their teeth and is comfortable on their gums.
Keep them clean in-between!
Flosser picks are sometimes easier for kids, and they come in fun patterns and colors!
It’s Time to Start Brushing and Flossing
Parents, as consistent role models, are the key for setting a daily routine and for making their children understand the importance of oral hygiene. Tooth brushing and flossing should be presented as a habitual part of the daily hygiene routine.
If you are struggling with integrating a brushing and flossing routine, turn it into a fun experience. Start singing a silly song or doing a funny dance for the time it takes to brush teeth. There are several songs that are geared toward helping ensure kids get their teeth brushed for the recommended 2 minutes twice a day that can make it a fun, healthy experience!
Comments are closed.