Kids need to care for their smiles from home, as this helps keep teeth and gums healthy in between their routine checkup and cleaning visits. But often, we find that parents and kids alike are confused about proper oral hygiene. In today’s blog, your Dallas, TX, pediatric dentist will explain how to help your children brush and floss the right way!
Care for Babies and Toddlers
For babies, as soon as the first tooth erupts, you will need to gently clean it in the mornings and before bed at night. As more teeth arrive, you will eventually upgrade to an age-appropriate toothbrush, cleaning your child’s teeth. Once there are teeth sitting side-by-side, flossing with a pick is essential too. At this stage, you will need to handle this for your child! We also suggest an initial office visit once the first baby tooth arrives, and routine checkups and cleanings are necessary around age two.
Brushing and Flossing
As your child grows older, he or she will begin to handle this process alone. However, you may need to occasionally assist them, or at least monitor them to make sure care is being done properly. Your kids need to brush first thing in the morning and again before bed. Each session should take about two minutes, and a sand timer could help them keep track of time, as could fun podcasts or songs. Make sure every surface is being addressed. Before bed every evening, kids also need to floss. For younger kids, a pick is easier to handle. Once dexterity improves, floss tape is recommended. Take an 18-inch to 20-inch length of tape, with each end wrapped around one thumb. Let your child hold it taut with the index fingers, and then move the tape up and down each side of every tooth, dipping below the gum line each time. Sensitivity will stop over time!
Let’s talk about toothpastes. For babies, there are fluoride free options. However, once your child reaches age one, a rice-sized bit of fluoride toothpaste is recommended. The fluoride ingredients then strengthen the outer enamel to keep cavities at bay. As your children approach the teenage years, a pea-sized bit could be used. If you have any questions about properly caring for little smiles from home, or if you would like to schedule a checkup and cleaning for your children, then contact our team today.
Talk To Your Dallas, TX Pediatrician About Good Oral Hygiene Habits
At our Dallas, TX pediatric dentist’s office understands that daily care is necessary to help kids enjoy good oral hygiene. To find out more about how you can help your kids enjoy healthy smiles, please call Pediatric Dental Care At Casa Linda at 214-321-4880.