Professional pediatric dental care is vitally important, but it’s just as essential to look after your child’s teeth and gums at home. Home dental care forms a central part of preventative dental care, but parents and caregivers can often struggle to clean a young child’s mouth.
Learn How to Brush and Floss Your Child’s Teeth
This is where good oral hygiene instructions can be very helpful. Your pediatric dentist or hygienist can show you exactly how to look after your child’s teeth, including brushing techniques and flossing techniques. They can give you various tips on making the process fun for children, and can offer advice on the correct tools to use.
For example, children have much smaller mouths than adults, and it’s essential to use a child sized toothbrush that has a small head and soft bristles. These are designed to help reach right to the back of a child’s mouth so all the teeth can be properly cleaned.
Your dentist can also advise you on the use of fluoride toothpaste. While fluoride is important for helping to strengthen teeth, it’s equally important to make sure young children don’t have too much fluoride.
It might be that your dentist recommends using fluoride-free toothpaste until your child is two or older.
This is because young children lack the ability to spit out excess toothpaste, and swallowing too much of it could be harmful for the development of their adult teeth.
Supervising Older Children during Tooth Brushing and Flossing
If you have older children then you’re likely to find they want to clean their teeth themselves but it’s important to make sure they are properly supervised until about the age of eight.
Make sure they have the right tools to brush and floss, and it can be helpful to buy them an electric toothbrush with a built-in timer. This will tell them when they have brushed the correct length of time as it is very easy to overestimate! Your child may well need a different type of dental floss to the rest of the family; it’s important to find a brand they feel comfortable using as this will help get them in a regular routine that will hopefully last a lifetime.
Having proper oral hygiene instruction is essential, as most of us retain these early habits throughout our lifetime. Making sure your children know how to brush and floss correctly will greatly reduce their risk of tooth decay and gum disease, increasing the chances of them enjoying a healthy smile for life.
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