As you get older you begin to realise how important your oral health is and often wish that you had taken better care of your teeth when you were younger. That is why it is important for you to be aware of how to provide your children with good dental care.
Oral Hygiene Begins Before Teeth are Showing
Just because you can’t see them doesn’t mean they aren’t there! Many people are unaware that teeth are fully developed in your baby’s jaw at birth, which is why your focus should be on your baby’s gums for the first 6 months. You can look after your baby’s gums by using a clean, lukewarm washcloth to wipe bacteria off the gums a few times a day. When your baby’s first little teeth begin to appear, use a soft- bristled toothbrush and water to clean your baby’s teeth. By the time your child turns 2, you should begin teaching them how to spit after brushing to avoid them swallowing any plaque and to prepare them for spitting out their toothpaste. Ask your dentist when to introduce toothpaste to your child, this is normally when they are around two years old. You should use a pea sized amount of toothpaste that is low in fluoride.
Having regular dental check-ups will not only help identify any problems early but will also prevent the fear associated with dental visits. You can also help your infants learn that the dentist is not a figure to be afraid of by reading them child friendly dental books as this will give them a more positive view of going to the dentist. Parents can play a vital role in encouraging their child’s overall oral health.
Teach Your Children the Right Technique
When your child turns 3, you should teach them proper brushing techniques, we have all seen both children and adults vigorously brushing their teeth as quickly as they can. This is not a constructive method of brushing and can often lead to more damage than good. The toothbrush should be moved in a back- and- forth motion with short strokes along the teeth and gums. It is important to teach your child the correct brushing technique so that they can protect their gums and target the most bacteria as possible. Whilst brushing for 2 minutes is the recommended amount, this is not realistic for young children, so put emphasis on this to prolong the brushing process as much as possible.
Children and Flossing
Flossing is one of the most neglected components of oral hygiene, despite it being one of the most important. To set a good example for your child, you should adopt flossing in to your daily routine as this will prepare them for when their tooth surfaces are next to each other and they can start flossing themselves. Flossing should be adopted as a consistent dental care routine as using dental floss removes plaque and excess food particles that you may not be able to target with just your toothbrush.
Providing your children with good oral care will kick them off to a good start and increase their likeliness to establish the best dental habits. Thus, keeping them as healthy and happy as possible. At Brite Dental, we are part of the Childsmile programme, so register your little ones today!