As a parent, you have the power to give your child a beautiful smile! Toddlers and young children are not physically able to brush their teeth correctly. It’s important for parents to always help brush small children’s teeth, and to continue supervising and assisting with brushing until the age of seven to eight years old. Even once the child becomes older, it’s a good idea to check in on their brushing and flossing habits regularly!
Taking great care of your young child’s teeth is simple if you follow a few guidelines:
Consistency is Key. Brush your child’s teeth twice a day, every single day. As soon as the teeth begin to touch, start flossing several times a week.
Use a child’s size toothbrush. A smaller toothbrush size ensures a better fit and more comfortable experience.
Use the right toothpaste. Toddlers and young children should use a pea-sized amount of fluoride toothpaste and be able to spit the toothpaste out, not swallow it. Infants should use a fluoride-free toothpaste until they are two years-old, or capable of spitting the toothpaste out.
Brush effectively. Use small, circular brushes to sweep the food and bacteria off the teeth. When brushing the gumline, angle your brush at 45 degrees to get alone the gumline.
Brush your entire mouth. Brush each and every tooth, your gums, tongue and roof of mouth.
Aim for two-minutes, twice a day. It may seem like a long time, but it takes at least this long to brush every surface of every tooth.
Make it fun. Youtube is full of fun brushing songs, you can find brushing apps on your phone, or make up you own silly songs to keep it fun.
Model good oral hygiene! If your child sees that you value your smile and take great care of your teeth, he or she will learn to do the same.
Other ways to keep your child’s smile shining for life:
Limit juice, soda, sports drinks and other sugary liquids that cause sugar to sit on the teeth.
Eat a healthy diet full of fruits, vegetables and calcium-rich foods.
Avoid sticky, gummy and acidic candies and treats. Opt for chocolates that melt away quicker and don’t stick as long.
Floss regularly, at least several times a week. Daily is best!
Make your child wear a mouthguard when engaging in contact sports or any activity where a mouth injury could occur.
As always, Anderson Pediatric Dentistry strives to be a go-to resource for your pediatric dental questions. If you are in Anderson county or surrounding areas and need a dental home for your child, give our office a call at 864-760-1440 and let us give you