Instilling healthy oral habits at a young age can save your child from many dental problems down the road. It also encourages independence and self-confidence. Here are some important things to keep in mind when you’re teaching your child to brush their teeth.
Before teeth come in, your child’s mouth still needs to be cleaned. Use a wet cloth over your fingertip and gently massage the gums after feedings and meals. This helps your child get used to having their mouth cleaned.
Until your child can spit, continue using a fluoride-free toothpaste or just tap water. Brush their teeth in small circles for a total of two minutes, twice a day. Allow your child to play with their toothbrush and “brush” on their own for practice after you have already cleaned them.
Continue helping your child brush their teeth until they are able to tie their own shoes. Use only a pea-sized dot of fluoridated toothpaste. To encourage independence, have your child brush by themselves twice each day for two minutes, and then follow up one of these times for 2 minutes yourself. This encourages children to care for themselves but also ensures that they are having a completely plaque-free environment at least once a day. A timer or clock in the bathroom can help tremendously.
At your child’s routine dental visits, we will evaluate his or her oral hygiene and provide tailored instructions on how to adequately clean their changing mouths. Initially children are taught to brush in circles along their gumlines, but as their dexterity improves they will be shown how to use other types of methods that are more appropriate.
Does your child need help getting a handle on brushing their teeth? Schedule their cleanings every six months to keep their smile bright and their breath fresher. Let us help give them the educational tools that they need.