How To Create A Healthy Brushing Routine With Your Toddler Or Young Child?
Installing proper oral hygiene for your children will ensure their mouth develop well and reduces the risk of future oral problems like cavities and gum diseases. Good oral health also plays a major role in their nutrition and overall wellness. That said, your role as a parent is to create a healthy oral hygiene routine for your child to ensure a lifetime of a healthy, fully functional, and beautiful smile.
Teaching your child how to brush
Introducing proper oral hygiene in young children begins by having them brush their teeth and mouth before bed and in the morning. Unfortunately, instructing your child to go and brush on their own might not work. The child might be unable to clean their teeth, gums, and mouth adequately. This makes them vulnerable to bacterial plaque, increasing their risk of cavities and gum disease. You must do all the work yourself if the child is too young.
You might be wondering when to begin. Typically, it is never too early or too late to begin. However, the sooner, the better. Below is a guide you can use based on your child’s age:
- Infants. If your child is less than 12 months, you should use a clean, soft, warm, and damp cloth to wipe their gums, especially after feeding. When introducing them to solid foods, avoid or limit sugary items to reduce their risk of tooth decay.
- Children under 3 years. Brushing should begin when their first tooth erupts. Be sure to use a soft-bristled baby toothbrush and smear a little non-fluoride toothpaste.
- 3 years and above. Teach them how to brush their teeth and allow them to practice using a soft-bristled toothbrush. Just make sure you clean their teeth well after the practice. You can also consult a pediatric dentist about using fluoridated toothpaste.
Generally, brushing and teaching your child how to brush shouldn’t be complicated. Generally, you should brush your kid’s teeth for two minutes twice daily. Use these steps:
- Buy a soft-bristled baby toothbrush. Remember to replace it every few months.
- Smear toothpaste on the brush. The ADA recommends using a rice-sized amount of non-fluoridated toothpaste for children under 3 years. You can increase the amount to a pea-size for children above three.
- Angle the toothbrush at 45 degrees. It should be facing towards the gums of the lower or upper teeth.
- Gently brush back and forth with short strokes. Continue to the interior, exterior, and the teeth chewing surfaces of the teeth. Position the brush vertically to brush the front and back teeth.
- Brush the tongue gently to remove food debris and bacteria from the tongue to prevent bad breath and oral thrush.
Taking your child for routine dental visits
Dental experts recommend taking your child to a pediatric dentist near you for dental cleaning and checkup as soon as their first tooth erupts or on their first birthday. The dentist will monitor your child’s oral development and check their mouth for potential problems such as tooth decay and gum disease.
Our dentist in Ohio will also clean their teeth, gums, and mouth to remove bacterial plaque to protect them from cavities and gum disease. During routine pediatric visits, the dentist can offer preventive treatments such as fluoride and dental sealants. Fluoride treatments strengthen their teeth as they develop and protect them against cavities. On the other hand, dental sealants are applied to the chewing surfaces of the child’s back teeth, reducing their risk of plaque and cavities.
Tips to promote healthy oral habits for your child
- Be a role model. Brush and floss your teeth and mouth together with your child.
- Supervise young kids. Until the child is big enough, always help and supervise them as they brush and floss before bed and in the morning.
- Establish an oral care routine. Having your child brush and floss their teeth at specific times, like right before bed, will help them get used to the activity. Eventually, you won’t have to remind them.
- Let the child pick a fun toothbrush and toothpaste. Fun-looking toothbrushes can encourage your child to brush their teeth.
- Promise them rewards. Reward the child by buying them their favorite toy or treating them a special treat if they brush and floss twice daily.
- Limit or avoid feeding them highly acidic and sugary items.
Schedule an appointment today
Do you need more information on how to care for your child’s mouth? Or perhaps you want to schedule their first or next pediatric visit? Contact daily DENTAL & bracesbar for pediatric dentistry in Dublin.