It is a fact that teaching your kids good oral hygiene habits from a very young age is exceptionally crucial in your child’s development. Even before teeth appear you must get your child used to a toothbrush.
My baby doesn’t have teeth yet, do I need to clean her or his mouth?
The answer is yes. Even before your baby has her or his first tooth, make it a habit to always wipe her or his gums with a soft cloth when giving her or him a bath. It is not ideal to use toothpaste yet because she or he would be too little to learn how to spit. Just wrap the cloth around your index finger, then gently massage her or his gums, cheeks, palate, and tongue. This will get her or him used to having her or his mouth cleaned. This should make it easier for you to adjust to a toothbrush later on. Once the first tooth emerges, you can switch from cloth to a silicone rubber fingertip toothbrush. It is now mandatory that you clean baby’s mouth twice daily, in the morning and in the evening.
Should I use fluoride toothpaste?
As soon as the first tooth erupts, it is best to use toothpaste that is suitable for your baby’s age. It isn’t recommended that babies use fluoride toothpaste before she or he learns to spit. Too much fluoride digestion may cause dental fluorosis, a defect in tooth enamel usually developed during the tooth-forming years. When brushing baby’s teeth, use a thin smear of toothpaste only. As soon as the bristles start to look worn out, replace your baby’s toothbrush with a new one. By the time your child is a year old, you can transition from the fingertip toothbrush to a specially-sized infant toothbrush with a handle appropriately designed for small hands to grip.
My child hates the thought of brushing her or his teeth, what do I do?
There are a few tricks in teaching your kids good oral hygiene habits.
Make up a good story
Kids love stories. Tell your child how much the tooth fairy would reward them if they keep their teeth healthy. Or how tooth bugs can make holes on her or his teeth if they are dirty.
Take your child shopping for toothpaste
There is an array of brands in children’s toothpastes. Your child would most likely love brushing her or his teeth with a flavor she or he chooses.
Make brushing teeth play time
Buy matching toothbrushes and brush together. Kid’s love copying. Play some music. Ideally, find a song your child like that is at least two minutes long. Once the song is over, you can stop brushing your teeth.
The best way for your child to learn is to let them know when they are doing well. Praise and acknowledge them when you see progress. Don’t worry too much if they missed out on parts, you can always help them after. Slow progress is still progress.
Come see us
If your child refuses to listen to you, you can take her or him to our office. We can show your child how important – and fun – brushing her or his teeth can be.
How long should my child brush her or his teeth?
Your child should brush her or his teeth 1-2 minutes, 2-3 times a day. You can also buy a toothbrush that has a light timer. Your kid would enjoy brushing her or his teeth in style, and she or he would be reminded to continue brushing until after the light has stopped flashing. Playing a song that is the right length is another good trick to keep your kid brushing long enough.
When should I start and how often do I take my child to the dentist?
You should take your child to the dentist 6 months after her or his first tooth comes out, then follow up every six months, or twice a year.
When starting early, it’s pretty simple to get your kids into good habits for a healthy mouth. All in all, a fun routine that emphasizes the correct methods will be your best bet!