Teaching Your Children to Brush and Floss

Teaching Children to Brush TeethTeaching your children good habits is one of the most important things a parent has to do.

Teaching good brushing and flossing habits will give your kids a healthy habit that will last a lifetime.

Healthy oral hygiene can begin as soon as your child’s first teeth appear.

You should begin brushing their teeth with a soft bristled toothbrush with just water after every meal. Sometime after two years old they can graduate to a fluoride toothpaste.

The main thing when determining whether to use a toothpaste or not is if they have been able to learn whether to spit out excess toothpaste into the sink and rinse or not.

Make sure that you yourself are demonstrating good brushing habits!

Kids learn from watching and a parent who brushes after every meal is setting the best possible example.

Bring your child with you to brush after a meal and chances are your child will be asking you to brush their teeth in no time! Kids naturally want to imitate their parents or siblings.

Not only are you helping your kids, you’re helping protect yourself from gum disease!

When they’re ready for toothpaste

For children less that two years old, apply just a tiny smear smaller than a pea-sized amount.

For children ages 2-5, apply a pea-sized amount.

Parents should still brush their children’s teeth up until at least age five.

After their fifth birthday, use your best parental judgement to decide if your kids are ready to brush alone or not.

How to Brush

  • Step 1: The parent or child should use a soft-bristled toothbrush and angle it at 45 degrees towards the gums of the upper and lower teeth.
  • Step 2: The toothbrush should be moved gently in a back-and-forth motion with short strokes along the teeth and gums. This technique should be continued along every tooth’s interior and exterior surface in a similar way.
  • Step 3: The tip of the brush should be placed in an upright position to reach behind the front teeth on the top and bottom.
  • Step 4: Brush the tongue to remove bacteria on the surface.

How to Floss

  • Step 1: Hold a short length of floss between the thumb and index finger, twining it around one finger at each end to gain better control. Be careful not to apply too much pressure when inserting the floss between the child’s teeth.
  • Step 2: Adjust the floss into a ‘C’ shape curve around each tooth and slide it up and down gently along the side of the tooth and under the gumline.
  • Step 3: A new section of floss should be used for each tooth to avoid reinsertion of food and plaque.
  • Step 4: An interdental brush can be used to clean between tooth surfaces that have space.

If you have any questions
please call our office at 972-964-3774

David Wilhite and our office specialize in children’s dental care and we are excited to help you.

We begin taking appointments for children at age three or above.

 


Image: Pixabay

Source: Colgate


 

Brushing Teeth For Kids

Brushing Teeth for KidsKids need to be brushing their teeth, just like adults do.

Small children may only have “baby teeth” but that doesn’t mean parents shouldn’t be taking care of their teeth or teaching them to practice good brushing habits.

If you get your kids started taking care of their oral health early, and you can set up a lifetime of good habits and save them from problems years from now.

In this post, we’ll answer some of the most common questions about children’s teeth.

  • When should kids start brushing?
  • When should kids begin flossing?
  • When should I schedule my first dental visit?

 

Start taking care of your children’s teeth right away.

Children’s teeth are at risk for tooth decay as soon as they are visible in your child’s mouth. Tooth decay in babies is often referred to as Baby Bottle Tooth Decay. This occurs most frequently in the top front teeth of your child. In some cases, it can become bad enough that the teeth even have to be removed.

You can even take care of children’s health before their teeth appear by running a clean, damp washcloth over the gums to clear away harmful bacteria.

 

When should kids start brushing their teeth?

Start brushing teeth as soon as your children’s teeth appear! When your baby gets their teeth, carefully brush them with an infant toothbrush as part of their morning and evening routine.

Your child may not be able to spit during teeth brushing until age two. Up until that point, use only the smallest amount of toothpaste, just a tiny dab. Make sure the brand is approved by the American Dental Association.

View the full list of ADA approved toothpastes

 

When should my child begin flossing their teeth?

As soon as your baby’s teeth touch, you can begin flossing in between them.

Parents will need to floss for children for the first few months and perhaps years. As soon as your child has the dexterity, they will be able to do this themselves.

 

When should I schedule my child’s first visit to the dentist?

As a general rule, children should make a trip to the dentist six months after their first teeth have appeared.
By taking your child to the dentist when they’re young you can help prevent tooth decay.

 

We hope we have helped to answer some of your questions. You can always call us with your questions if they are not answered here. David Wilhite specializes in pediatric dentistry and children’s dental health.

Call us today! (972) 964-3774

 

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Image credit: Leo Health

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Read more dental care tips:

Does Thumb Sucking Damage Kids Teeth?

thumb sucking kid - does it damage teeth?It’s a common question we’ve heard many times: Will thumb sucking damage my child’s teeth?

It’s a common question because it’s a very common and natural thing that kids do. They suck their thumbs. Some do it from almost the time they’re born. Others pick it up along the way.

For some kids, it’s just a phase. For others, it’s a cause for alarm when their child is still sucking their thumb even as they’re heading into kindergarten.

Being a little kid can make you feel small and uncertain in a big world. By sucking on a thumb, fingers, a pacifier or a toy, it can give a child a small sense of security and happiness as they navigate a world they know little about.

We specialize in pediatric dentistry questions. Call us at (972) 964-3774

How can thumb sucking affect teeth?

The biggest concern about pacifiers and thumb sucking are when the permanent teeth start to come in.

At this point, it can cause issues with the natural growth of the mouth and alignment of the teeth and cause an open bite. It can also cause changes in the roof of the mouth.

The intensity of thumb sucking will determine if dental problems occur.  Different kids will suck their thumbs and pacifiers differently. Some will rest their thumbs very gently in their mouth, and are less likely to cause damage.

Some children though will suck their thumbs very intensely, enough to even cause problems with their primary (baby) teeth.

How to break the thumb sucking habit?

  • Be sure to praise your child for not sucking their thumb
  • Try to find ways to alleviate any potential anxiety
  • Have other adults, even the dentist, to praise them for not thumb sucking
  • Try to limit thumb sucking to a bed time activity, not a public activity
  • Help make them aware of thumb sucking when they do it unconsciously
  • Encourage them that they’re “growing up” and “getting big” and that their heroes don’t suck their thumbs
  • Remember they will grow out if it naturally at some point. Try not to make it into a big issue.
  • More information at WebMD

David Wilhite and our team our experienced pediatric dentists. We’re here to help your kids have healthy teeth and terrific smiles. Call us with any questions or for an appointment at (972) 964-3774

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Photo credit: Pedro Reyna