Children’s Dental Health Month
February is one of our favorites – Children’s Dental Health Month. It’s the time to really focus on the dental health of children and how to keep their teeth clean and healthy. We know it can be a struggle to try to keep up with your child’s oral healthcare routine, but it truly sets the stage for their entire life. Starting good habits while the child is young will create a routine, the child will understand the importance of. This month, our blogs will center around different topics for a child’s dental health and hopefully offer many tips and tricks to keep your little one(s) teeth clean and cavity-free.
Tips for Brushing
Wording can be everything when you start giving your child options. Never ask them if they are ready to brush their teeth. What kid would ever be ready? Associate brushing with something else. Maybe it’s every night before reading books, or every night after bath time. Let them know at that time every night; now it’s time to brush. If you stay consistent, they know there is no option. Yes, they may put up a fight, but be adamant about it getting done, and they will get tired of fighting night after night. The same goes for mornings. Be sure you are getting that twice a day brush in. Lots of plaque bacteria form on our teeth at night when we sleep, and morning time is extremely important to brush to make sure food is less resistant to sticking to the teeth throughout the day. It is important to start using fluoride toothpaste at first tooth eruption. You only need a rice size amount smeared into the bristles of the toothbrush. Yes, we know your 6-month-old is not going to rinse and spit, and that’s ok. This meniscal amount of fluoride is not going to be toxic when your child swallows it. You can wipe out the remaining toothpaste with a washcloth using your finger after brushing.
Flossing and Mouthwash Use
Flossing is best at night and just once per day. We find it easier to floss with the string floss than the floss picks. You have more control when using the string. The picks tend to snap and may hit the gum, leaving the child more upset. Of course, it is whatever works best for you and your child. If you try flossing your child’s teeth while they are laying down at the end of a couch or standing in front of you facing forward with their head resting back on you, you can get a much better visual and floss easier. It all takes practice. In between, or flossing cavities are the most common among children since they tend to snack a lot and not floss as often as they should. Your child will need help with brushing and flossing until about the age of 8 years old. They can practice well before that, but following up or assisting is very important. Once your child is able to rinse and spit, a fluoride mouthwash is a great idea. This helps get into those small nooks and crannies. The toothbrush bristles even have a hard time reaching. The fluoride settles into these areas and helps strengthen, preventing cavities. Once a day, use for this is sufficient.
If you ever have questions about your child’s teeth, do not hesitate to call Dental Reflections Dublin for advice or to bring them in for us to take a look! That’s what we are here for.