Brushing and flossing your teeth are integral parts of a foundation for good oral health. As many parents know, getting your kids to brush and floss every morning and every night can be challenging, to say the least. If your kids are happy to take care of their teeth every day, that’s great! They are on their way to a lifetime of dental health. But sometimes, a little help is needed. For information about kids, brushing and flossing, read on.
First, as in everything in life, your children will take their cues from you. If you are serious about taking care of your teeth, your children will follow your lead. So the first step is to make sure that you brush at least twice a day, floss before bed, eat a healthy diet and see your dentist for your regular checkups and cleanings. Being a good role model is important for your kids when it comes to dental hygiene.
For an infant, you can start cleaning his mouth and gums with a clean piece of gauze after every feeding. When your child is old enough for brushing, use a tiny amount of toothpaste on a toothbrush small enough for his mouth. Between the ages of two and five, you can use a pea-sized drop. Your dentist can tell you when you should start using a fluoride toothpaste with your child.
By the time you child is six he should be able to brush his teeth by himself, although you should still inspect his teeth after he is done. Now is a good time to encourage him to start brushing in the morning and before bed. You might brush your teeth with him, so he will learn from you. Make sure that you child has a soft-bristled brush so it doesn’t irritate his mouth; and everyone, both child and parent alike should get a new toothbrush every three months.
You should start flossing your child’s teeth as soon as two teeth have come in next to each other. When your child is old enough to floss his own teeth, show him how to hold the floss, and how to curve the floss around each tooth and under his gumline.
You can make brushing fun, and not a chore. Try letting your child pick out his own toothbrush, or give him a toothbrush and let him brush the teeth of one of his stuffed animals. You can try singing songs when it’s time to brush your child’s teeth, and of course, praise and encouragement always helps.
You are bound to have questions from time to time about your child’s dental needs. Our dentists, Dr. Manshadi, Dr. Roden-Johnson, and Dr. Afridi here at Victoria Pediatric Dental & Orthodontics in Victoria, TX, is happy to help. Feel free to contact us at (361) 433-4704 with any questions you may have or to schedule an appointment for your child.