Do you have a child who has trouble keeping his or her pearly whites clean and healthy?
As a dentist, I speak about the importance of brushing your teeth all the time. It’s such a simple but common sense thing to do. It prevents so many dental problems from occurring later on or even in the first place. However, patients frequently have lots of questions about it and especially so when it concerns babies or toddlers. Here is what you should know.
- You can begin brushing your babies teeth as soon as they appear. Some dentists even recommend starting even before, by gently brushing the baby’s gums. As soon as the baby has teeth they need to be taken care of. Flossing is also important and you can begin as soon as there are two teeth beside one another.
- Always use a toothbrush which is made for the child’s age. Most good brands of toothbrush mark the age for its use on their packaging. You can of course always ask your dentist for advice if you are not sure.
- Yes you can use toothpaste which contains fluoride. This substance makes significantly reduces and helps to preventing dental cavities. For children under 2 years of age, use just a tiny spread or smear on the bristles. From 2 years onwards you can use a pea-sized amount. The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends this amount although the American Dental Association says to start with this quantity at 3 years of age.
- Teach children to brush their teeth correctly and monitor what they do. Left to their own devices kids are unlikely to perform a good job.
- Always brush all the teeth thoroughly including the back molars as these are the most likely to have cavities which develop over time.
- Brushing your teeth in 30 seconds will not do. It has to be a proper job which takes 2-3 minutes at least. Getting children to do this is hard but it will really keep their teeth clean, prevent problems from occurring and reduce the need for dental treatment. It is for their health and a good investment too.
It is so easy to follow these 6 points and we highly recommend you do. Look after your children by teaching them to regularly brush their teeth.