How to Care for Your Child's Teeth
Your child’s dental care is an important part of their overall health. Starting good habits early can help your child maintain a lifetime of good dental hygiene.
Regular brushing is an important part of dental care. When done correctly, brushing helps to remove plaque from the inner, outer and chewing surfaces of the teeth. As soon as your child’s first tooth erupts, you may begin a gentle daily brushing habit. As soon as they’re old enough to avoid swallowing toothpaste, it’s a good idea to use a small (pea sized) amount of fluoride toothpaste. Most children from ages 4 – 7 should be able to brush on their own under adult supervision. This helps ensure they’re doing a good job and underscores the importance of brushing twice daily.
How to Brush:
- Hold the toothbrush at a 45-degree angle.
- Begin along the gum line, moving in a gentle circular motion.
- Brush the outer surfaces of each tooth, repeat on the inside surfaces and then move to the chewing surfaces.
- As a final step, brush the tongue, which removes bacteria and freshens breath.
Dental floss can get into those spaces between teeth that your toothbrush can’t reach. Flossing regularly will prevent plaque build-up and tooth decay and is another important part of good dental hygiene.
How to Floss:
- Wind approximately 18 inches of floss around the middle fingers of each hand.
- Hold the floss lightly between the thumbs and forefinger.
- Using a gentle back and forth motion, guide the floss between the teeth.
- Curve the floss into C-shape and scrape along the side of each tooth.
- Be sure to floss between all teeth, even the backs of the last four teeth.