Life is about the little things. Whether you’re too busy or overwhelmed, sometimes precious moments slip through the cracks. That’s why we encourage you to take a few minutes out of your day to make brushing and flossing a fun family activity.
Not only will you spend some quality time with your kids each morning and evening, but you will be teaching them valuable skills for their future oral and systemic health. If you have any questions about brushing and flossing, visit Dr. Hill at Smile On Dental Studio in St. Louis.
Brushing the Right Way
As your children age, they require age-appropriate toothbrushes. You can find properly marked toothbrushes at any drugstore, just make sure you get the right size! The amount of toothpaste also changes with age, starting at less than a pea-sized amount for toddlers and increasing to a pea-sized amount once the child is two years old.
Throughout childhood, children should use soft-bristled brushes that don’t irritate their gums. When brushing, the parent or child should angle the toothbrush at 45 degrees towards the teeth. Then, gently brush back and forth on the interior and exterior of each tooth and the gums. After brushing each tooth, brush the tongue to remove bacteria.
Floss Every Day
Though you cannot floss with just one tooth, as soon as two teeth appear next to each other, you can begin flossing. Once your child has two consecutive teeth, floss at least once a day to avoid bacterial plaque buildup. If plaque builds up, it can lead to gum disease and tooth decay.
To floss, wind 18 inches of floss between your fingers and gently slide the floss up the side of each tooth. For each tooth, use a new section of floss so you don’t spread bacteria to different teeth. Don’t forget, you should floss before brushing so you can remove bacteria most effectively!
Start Early to Make Brushing Stick
Children are very impressionable. For that reason, we have to show them good habits at an early age. Even better, have fun while brushing by playing music, dancing, and being silly with your kids.
As soon as a baby’s first tooth appears, your child is old enough to start brushing. Even if you’re brushing just one tooth, you’re preventing plaque buildup and gingivitis.
Furthermore, you can start cleaning your child’s mouth before they even have teeth. After each meal, wipe the gums with a wet cloth to remove any food debris. This prevents gum disease, which could occur before your child has teeth.
Additionally, regular dental visits can begin as early as six months after your children grow their first tooth. With these routines from a young age, brushing, flossing, and visiting the dentist are lifelong practices for your child’s dental care.