Daily brushing is critical to prevent serious oral health problems, but many people don’t give routine dental care the time and attention it deserves. Establishing healthy habits at a young age can help kids grow up with healthy smiles and avoid painful and costly treatments later.
How to Help Your Kids Improve Their Brushing Routines
- Dentists recommend brushing for two minutes twice a day, but most people don’t meet those guidelines. Play or hum a song while your kids brush so they understand how long two minutes is and get used to brushing for that amount of time.
- Teach your kids to hold a toothbrush at a 45-degree angle and to brush with circular motions. This can remove plaque before it has a chance to harden.
- People often don’t give all their teeth equal attention. Have your kids divide their mouths into quadrants and focus on thoroughly brushing each section for 30 seconds.
- If children start in the front and work their way back, they may rush to finish before their time is up or be too tired or distracted to do a good job in the back. Focusing on the hard-to-reach places in the back of the mouth first can help kids make sure they give them adequate attention.
- A toothbrush with worn-out bristles cannot do an effective job of brushing teeth. Replace each family member’s toothbrush every three months.
- Even with proper technique, it can be hard to reach all the crevices in teeth and the spaces between them. An electric toothbrush can make the job easier and can also be fun for kids.
- Fluoride toothpaste can strengthen teeth and help protect them from decay. Ask your dentist when your children can start using fluoride toothpaste and how much.
- Young kids don’t have the coordination to get their teeth clean. They can and should try, but parents should always follow up to get the spots that children missed.
- Older kids often think they did a good job of brushing their teeth when they really didn’t. Plaque can be easy to miss, which is why plaque-disclosing tablets are so helpful. After your children brush, have each of them chew on a tablet and smile in the mirror. The plaque they missed will be a bright color so they will know which areas need more attention.
- Brushing before going to bed is essential. If pieces of food and plaque are not removed from the mouth before going to sleep, they can linger there all night and cause damage to teeth.
Take Your Child to a Pediatric Dentist
Brushing twice a day can prevent many oral health problems, but it is no substitute for professional dental care. All children should visit a pediatric dentist by the age of 1 and should continue to have routine exams after that. If your child is due for an appointment, contact CT Pediatric Dentistry today.