Teeth cleaning practice for your child
Good habits learnt in our childhood have the tendency to survive. Our children are more likely to take a good care of their teeth if we show them how important it is. Start teaching your children to clean their teeth right as soon as possible.
When is a good time to start?
It is the infancy period. It means cleaning baby’s mouth after feeding. Use a wet gauze or cloth to wipe the oral area. No teeth visible does not mean that it is senseless. When the first tooth arrives buy a brush and start brushing it regularly.
Tips for early brushing:
- The brush should be suitable for your child’s age and soft-bristled (a hard-bristled one is too abrasive in this case). Wet it before use. Using fluoride toothpaste before first birthday must be consulted with a dentist or pediatrician.
- Fluoride toothpaste should be used in cases of higher decay risk. Before the age of 2 its amount should be less than this of the size of a pea and at the age of 2-5 it can be the size of a pea.
- Brush your child’s teeth in a bathroom. It would be great if you brushed your teeth at the same time – children like to copy their parents.
- Try to make the habit of brushing teeth at least twice a day (in the morning and evening).
- Children at the age of 6 and older can brush teeth on their own, but under a parent’s supervision.
- Replace the toothbrush every three- four months and always when you see it is damaged. You should buy a new one also after a cold or flu – it will help avoid the next infection.
- You can use also an electric toothbrush.
- Children before 2 should start the practice of spitting. Older children can rinse their mouth with a small amount of water.
Right brushing procedure
- Angle a toothbrush at 45 degrees to the gums.
- Move the brush back-and-forth with short strokes. Take care of both interior and exterior surface.
- To get to the behind of the front upper and lower teeth the brush’s tip should be in the upright position.
- Brush the tongue.
As soon as tooth surfaces are next to each other we need to start flossing our child’s teeth once a day or more. It helps remove the plaque and remaining food which causes halitosis, decay and gum diseases.
Tips for flossing:
- You need a short length of the floss. Hold it between a thumb and index finger and clean the surfaces between teeth delicately.
- Curve the floss into a “C” shape to encircle each tooth and slide the floss up and down.
- Use new floss to clean each tooth.
- If there is some space between teeth you may use an interdental brush.
Regular dentist checkups
Six months after the first tooth’s appearance or soon after the first birthday, your child should visit a dentist for the first time.
Remember about giving a good example and providing assistance for your children. Good condition of our teeth is very important for our general wellness, it is not only a matter of a beautiful smile. Your efforts now will pay off in the future.