Tips for Brushing
Starting your children with a good oral hygiene routine when they are still little can help to set the path for their future dental wellness. At Smile Family Dentistry we believe strongly in teaching our patients the right way to brush their teeth, and to care for them. We have gathered the best tips to help children learn to brush the right way.
Selection Of The Toothbrush
The toothbrush that your child uses can have a large impact on their oral wellness. It can also impact their willingness to brush twice a day. Your children should be using soft-bristled toothbrushes that are designed for use by children. These brushes will have easier-to-grip handles and heads that are better sized for the mouth of children.
It can be a challenge to encourage children to consistently brush their teeth. Spin brushes can make things easier for the child. Also, allow the child to select a toothbrush that features a favorite character. Your child will be much more likely to reach for the brush if it has their favorite caped superhero on it.
Ensuring The Brush Can Be Held
Toothbrushes that are designed for use by children quite often are designed to take their smaller hands into consideration. Some children could still find it difficult to hold onto their toothbrush. A few home hacks include placing the toothbrush inside of a new tennis ball. This will give the child something sturdy to grip while brushing. A simple hairband or a Velcro strap can also make it easier for small hands to hold toothbrushes.
Best Steps for Brushing
It is important to ensure that the brushing process is broken down into age-appropriate steps that your child can understand and keep up with. The teeth should be brushed using small circles across the front, top, and back of each tooth. Only the smallest amount of toothpaste should be used, and children should make sure to rinse and spit.
When your child next comes in for a professional cleaning, our hygienist will be able to provide demonstrations for both child and parent. If the child is under the age of five, some parents find that it is helpful to place their hands on top of the hands of the child, to provide a guide as they brush.
Minty toothpaste can often be too much for children to use, so be sure to select a child-friendly toothpaste that the child will not find offensive. The toothpaste should contain fluoride, to offer protection for the teeth. Until the child is old enough, adults should be sure to place the toothpaste onto the toothbrush. Children who are not yet three years old should have nothing more than a small smear of toothpaste placed onto their toothbrush. Children who are between three and six should have no more than just a small pea-sized bit of toothpaste on their toothbrush.
It is important to remind children that toothpaste should be rinsed out and spit out. It will not cause harm to periodically swallow toothpaste, but we generally do not like to encourage it. Repeated fluoride ingestion can result in a condition that is known as fluorosis.
Keeping Brushing Fun
For active and busy children, it can be hard to see tooth brushing as anything but a boring chore. You can encourage and engage your child by using a timer, or by making up a counting game. Your children should be brushing their teeth for a full two minutes. You can also create a rewards chart to encourage them to brush their teeth daily.
Call Smile Family Dentistry at 925-414-4128 to schedule your child’s next professional cleaning or checkup.