Is your child new to taking care of their dental health? For the first few years of their life, you’re the one that brushed their teeth. Now that they’re old enough to do it on their own, are they ready?
It’s hard to remember, as an adult, that brushing your teeth doesn’t come naturally. You have to learn how to do it. It’s your job to teach your child how to keep their mouth clean and healthy.
This is a big task, but you don’t have to worry. With our pediatric teeth cleaning tips, your child will be well on their way to a future of great dental hygiene and healthy gums.
Not sure where to get started? No problem. Keep reading to learn our top tips that you can teach your child today.
1. Brush the Right Way
Did you know that there’s a right way to brush your teeth? That’s right; you may have been doing it wrong all this time. Children learn from you and your behavior, so make sure that you’re doing a good job so you can teach them.
When your child is small (a toddler or younger), they only need a pea-sized drop of toothpaste on their brush. Older children can use more. Make sure that you use toothpaste with fluoride!
Your child should brush their teeth for 2 minutes per brushing session (as should you). Children, unfortunately, have brief attention spans. This means that brushing for that long will feel boring and tedious.
It’s helpful to play a child’s favorite song or get them an app that can help them brush. These apps are often brushing games that encourage children to brush all areas of their mouths for the right amount of time.
Make sure that your child doesn’t rinse after they brush and that they don’t swallow their toothpaste. It’s also helpful to teach them how to brush their tongue.
2. Brush Often
Children need to know how to brush the right way, but they also need to know how often they should be brushing their teeth in general.
Ideally, people should brush their teeth after every meal or snack. That said, too much brushing may wear away at the enamel, and it’s hard to get a child to brush more often than they have to.
Instead, have them brush after breakfast and before bed. You want to make sure that there are no more meals or snacks before their final brushing session.
It’s common for children to rebel against brushing their teeth. Check your child’s toothbrush when they leave the bathroom to make sure that it’s wet. If it’s dry, start monitoring your child again until they’ve established a brushing routine.
3. Floss Every Day
Flossing is another thing that can be tedious for children. Again, it’s helpful to floss after every meal, but everyone should floss at least once per day.
Flossing is difficult for some children. Floss can get stuck, and children who floss too hard may hurt their gums, causing them to shy away from flossing in the future.
If it’s easier for them, let them use a floss pick or a water flosser. These may be easier for them to hold. If your child doesn’t like the taste of floss, consider getting one that tastes like cinnamon or bubble gum.
Flossing gets rid of plaque and food that can harbor bacteria and form tartar between the teeth. Not flossing can cause cavities and even gum disease.
Cavities, even with child sedation dentistry, are painful and stressful for children. Let children know that flossing will keep them away from the drills.
4. Eat Less Sugar
You have a part in this step. You should encourage your child to eat fewer sugary and sticky foods if they want to have good oral health.
Children can have sugar from time to time, but in moderation. It’s best to keep sticky and sugary snacks to meal time so that the child will brush soon after.
Sugar causes bacteria to gather and thrive in your child’s mouth. As we mentioned before, this can cause tartar buildup, cavities, and gum disease. There’s nothing wrong with a sweet treat, but keep them to a minimum and brush when you’re done.
5. Rinse Your Mouth
You should teach your child to rinse their mouth (and drink water) often throughout the day (especially after snacks).
While brushing isn’t necessary after every meal or snack, rinsing with water can help wash away some bacteria until it’s time to brush. Keeping your child’s mouth wet will also help with bacteria growth.
Your child could also use a mouthwash after meals and snacks. While it isn’t as good as brushing, it will eliminate some of the bacteria and plaque, keeping their mouths fresh and healthy throughout the day.
6. See the Best Child Dentist Often
You need to acclimate your child to your local pediatric dentist. A child that isn’t used to the dentist may grow a fear of dentists, whereas a child that learns early on that the dentist isn’t scary will be set up for a lifetime of good oral health.
Teach your child the importance of seeing the dentist twice per year. They’ll get a professional cleaning session and a routine check-up to ensure that there aren’t any problems.
Routine visits will prevent emergencies and painful dental conditions in the future.
Use These Pediatric Teeth Cleaning Tips to Teach Your Child
Dental care is crucial for children of all ages, even before they get their adult teeth. It’s your responsibility as a parent to make sure that they grow up with great oral health. Use these pediatric teeth cleaning tips as a starting point.
Are you looking for a great dentist for your child? At Nolensville Pediatric Dentistry, our experienced dental professionals want to help. We handle preventative care, restorative care, and even sedation dentistry for kids.
Contact us to set up an appointment today. We can’t wait to meet you and your child.