As mentioned in Hartwell Dentistry last blog, we will be continuing on our theme of Children’s Dentistry.
Oral care at home for your child
The best way to teach your child to brush and floss their teeth is to let them watch you. Children learn by imitating those around them.
Plaque is the sticky soft layer of bacteria that forms on our teeth. To prevent tooth decay and gum problems it needs to be removed each day.
It has been proven that brushing twice a day is double the effectiveness as only brushing once a day. What you may not know is the importance of brushing at night before bedtime.
You should encourage your child to brush their own teeth. Depending on their age as well as the dexterity of the child, it is necessary sometimes for the parents to following up and make sure that all the plaque is removed.
Again, age and child dependant, an option may be for your child to brush their own teeth in the morning and for the parents to brush the child’s teeth at night.
When your children are young and first begin brushing their teeth they tend to swallow rather the spit the excess toothpaste out. Because of this, we recommend that you use a low fluoride toothpaste for children under 3 years old.
There is a range of different toothpastes available on the market for children 2-6 and 6+, 6+ toothpaste contains a higher level of fluoride to help protect your children’s teeth.
Fluoride is a naturally occurring mineral that combines with the tooth enamel to strengthen it.
Fluoride is very important as it protects your teeth against decay and your teeth are more resilient to acids from food and drink as fluoride puts minerals back that are lost.
If your child does have tooth decay we may recommend to use other different fluoride products rather than just tooth paste.
Flossing removes food particles and plaque from between the teeth that the brush will miss; you should begin flossing for your children when their teeth are close together. By the time they reach about 12 years old they should be able to floss themselves. Always floss before brushing as flossing dislodges plaque and total removal can then be done by brushing.
It is not easy to floss someone else’s teeth so a good tip is to have your child lie down on the couch and sit behind them.
Some tips for brushing at home
*You only need to use a pea-sized amount of toothpaste
*Use a soft bristle toothbrush
*Start at the inside of the teeth then moving the outer surface angling the brush toward the gum line gently brushing back and forth.
*Then brush the chewing surface of each tooth.
*Make it fun for your child and get them excited, they may like to choose the own toothbrush.
In our next blog, we will run through the different ages children usually get their teeth and why it is important to treat baby teeth if needed.