Many first-time parents wonder how to best care for their children's Dental Hygiene. Educating children, and first-time parents, on the merits of positive oral hygiene can never be started too early.
A child whose teeth have not yet come in should have the exterior of their mouths cleaned after every feeding. Once the first tooth makes itself known, it is time to begin brushing! There are some best practices for brushing these first teeth:
Use a wet, soft-bristled toothbrush with water; it is best to not use any toothpaste for at least the child's first year
If the Pediatric Dentist agrees that a fluoride-based paste can be used (in cases where the child is at moderate to high risk for tooth decay), use a portion of toothpaste smaller than a kernel of corn for children under two and a portion about the size of a kernel of corn for children over two
Children should be helped with their brushing and oral hygiene skills until they are approximately six to eight years old or until the Pediatric Dentist and parent are sure that the child is ready
Children should be urged to brush two times a day, morning and night, with a soft-bristled toothbrush
The child's toothbrush should be replaced three to four times a year or more often as needed. When in doubt, get a new brush!
Make sure that the child rinses well after brushing and does not swallow any toothpaste
When a child is deemed old enough, they can start using a water pick to help with flossing and overall good oral hygiene
Teaching a child to floss and brush is no walk in the park, but the benefits of starting good oral hygiene habits at an early age are priceless! By instructing a child in the importance of this beneficial behavior at an early age, parents are laying the groundwork for the child to become a responsible adult with excellent oral hygiene!