Indisputably, dental cavities are one of the most common conditions in children. There are many causes of dental decay in children. But one of the leading causes is poor oral hygiene. Come to think about it. The majority of children barely know how to clean or take care of their teeth. Consequently, they may not be able to reach all the inaccessible areas in between the teeth. Bacteria, therefore, tend to accumulate on the teeth and lead to decay. As parents, it is good to teach your child to brush teeth.
You can always source the best tooth maintenance tips from your pediatric dentist or through dental blogs. Above all, ensure your child observes the best dental hygiene practices.
When should I start teaching my child to brush teeth?
The first question for each parent would be, ‘when should is tart brushing my child’s teeth?’. Well, dental experts recommend cleaning your child’s teeth as soon as teeth start to sprout up. When they are infants, use a clean wet cloth to wipe your child’s teeth. Do not let them sleep without cleaning their teeth. Milk and formulae can get stuck on the teeth and lead to the accumulation of bacteria. As a result, your child can experience dental issues at a very early age. With time, you have to teach the child to brush teeth. It would be best to ask your pediatric dentist about the right cleaning techniques. Then, you can pass them on to your children. Additionally, ensure your child brushes their teeth at least twice a day.
Teaching your child how to brush teeth
The first step would be to buy a baby toothbrush for your child. The toothbrush should be gentle and easy to use. It should also be small to fit the child’s mouth. The toothbrush should also incorporate an angle for easier use. After you get the toothbrush, show your child how to apply toothpaste on the toothbrush. Ensure that you show them the correct amount of toothpaste.
Then, you can proceed with showing your child how to use the toothbrush inside the mouth. It would typically help if you slid the toothbrush in a gentle motion across the teeth and gums. Do this in an upwards and downward movement. Show your child that they should gently scrub every tooth, both on its front side and backside.
While brushing your child’s teeth, ensure you show them how to reach the lower and upper jaw’s farthest teeth.
Show your child how to scrub their tongue to get rid of all dirt gently.
Ensure that the child thoroughly rinses their teeth. Inadequate tooth rinsing can cause foul mouth odor. So, show your child how to gaggle and spit the correct amount of water in the sink.
Teaching your child how to floss teeth
Aside from brushing your child’s teeth, ensure they floss regularly. Flossing is essential to get rid of all inaccessible bacteria between the teeth that could cause the buildup of plaque. So, show your child how to floss daily. So, how do you do this?
Show your child how to hold the flossing device firmly using their index finger and thumb. Then, show them how to spread out the thread from the flosser to the mouth. Show them how to slide the flosser in between the teeth in an upward and downward movement. Ensure that they apply gentle pressure when doing this. Otherwise, they can hurt themselves.
Ensure that your child does not get tired of reaching each tooth. Let them floss in between each tooth and slide the floss along the gumline. This way, they can get rid of all food particles. Keep in mind that your child should use a different floss threader for each tooth. Otherwise, there could be a transfer of bacteria or plaque from one tooth to another.
Standard oral hygiene practices for your child
- Often, parents should supervise their children when they are brushing their teeth. Make sure that the child cleans all their teeth and tongue.
- Make sure your child brushes at least twice a day—both in the morning and in the evening. Also, in case they consume sugary foods, ensure they brush immediately. When sugar stays long on the teeth, it causes the buildup of plaque. Plaque leads to tooth decay.
- It will help if you use an electric toothbrush for your child. They are much more user, friendly, and effective. All your child has to do is pass the electric toothbrush across each tooth.
- Always buy a new toothbrush for your child after every three months. An old toothbrush functions less effectively.
When your child reaches a certain age, it is always good to train them to brush their teeth correctly. If you teach your child to brush teeth, you make them more immune to dental diseases like tooth decay. Moreover, teaching your child to brush teeth properly will help them observe good oral hygiene even when they are much older.