Dental care should begin even before a baby's first tooth appears. Wiping the baby's gums after feedings prevents the build-up of damaging bacteria.
When your child has a few teeth showing, begin brushing them each morning and evening with a soft child's toothbrush. Do not use toothpaste until your child is able to rinse and spit out the residue, or use an infant/toddler tooth and gum cleanser that is nonabrasive, non-foaming, and fluoride-free.
It's important to establish and maintain a regular routine for brushing the teeth, usually after breakfast and before bedtime. Use a small soft-bristled toothbrush and a pea-sized amount of toothpaste.
First, establish an order in which the teeth are brushed, making sure that none are missed. For example: All top teeth inside and out and then all bottom teeth inside and out.
Put the brush horizontally on the teeth and partly on the gum. Move the brush back and forth in a short, gentle motion. Be sure to pay special attention to the inside of the front teeth because they are often missed.
Finally, brush the tongue to remove any laden bacteria, and have the child rinse with water.
Flossing is as important to good dental health as brushing and rinsing. Until your child is at least seven, you'll need to be in charge of flossing. Although it may be difficult to get a young child to cooperate (and difficult to maneuver in a small mouth), getting into the habit is as important as getting the job done.
You may not be able to floss between all teeth each night, so try to do at least the top teeth one night and the bottom the next. Do the back teeth first because it's more important to focus on the molars than the front teeth.
When your young child begins to show an interest in brushing, encourage him or her. But you should supervise and do most of the teeth brushing until your child is six or seven years old, to ensure proper care.
Children often learn by imitation, so set a good example and take good care of your own teeth. Let them see you in the regular habit of brushing and flossing daily.
At Dentistry Asleep®,Dr. Kevin Dann offers dental hygiene services, routine dental care for adults and children, periodontal and endodontic therapy, cosmetic dental procedures and dental implants. Dr. Dann is one of the few Certified Specialists in Dental Anaesthesia, giving complete, comfortable care to all his valued patients. Enjoy experienced, anxiety-free dental healthcare! Make your appointment now!