Cavity Prevention Teeth Cleaning Tips
April 23, 2022
Nothing is more heartwarming than seeing your little one’s smile. Children start with perfect teeth; now, it’s up to you to keep them as perfect as the day they first came in. Here are some great teeth cleaning tips to help your kids get started with a lifetime of good oral hygiene. For cavity prevention, the earlier, the better!
When the first tooth appears, it’s time to begin cleaning baby’s teeth. At this stage, a clean damp washcloth or a gauze pad works well to gently wipe the teeth and the front of the tongue after baby eats and at bedtime. This seemingly simple act engrains the habit of good oral health care.
Once your little one has reached the age of twelve months, it’s time to introduce the toothbrush. Get a small, soft-bristled toothbrush designed for an infant. This starter toothbrush is designed to get baby used to the feeling of the bristles and the motions of brushing teeth.
Your child is ready for a toothbrush designed for a young child by two years old. The handle is typically larger, making it easier for little hands to hold. Taking your child to pick out their first toothbrush can get them excited about brushing their teeth. There are many different characters available so that they can pick out one special to them. The same holds for toothpaste. Have them pick a flavor they like, so they look forward to brushing. Use a small amount of toothpaste made specifically for young children; fluoride and fluoride-free options are available. Speak with your pediatric dentist to see which is more appropriate for your child.
It can be helpful to brush your teeth when your child brushes theirs so that they can mimic you. Be sure to show them to spit out the toothpaste; if you use just a smear on their brush, it isn’t a huge deal if they swallow some, but it is better if they do not. Treat toothpaste as you would a medication and keep it out of reach of children.
Make brushing teeth a fun experience. Allow for plenty of time, so there isn’t a rush. Have your child brush their teeth while looking in the mirror with you close by. While it is important to make brushing teeth enjoyable, it should always be supervised. Never let children play with a toothbrush; serious injuries have resulted from a toothbrush in their mouth.
A reward chart is a great way to motivate older kids to brush their teeth. Gold stars earned for brushing and flossing teeth can go toward a treat such as ten more minutes of a favorite video game or movie. To make tooth brushing time festive, play a favorite song; it can even help with timing- brush until the song is over!
Look for age-appropriate books about brushing teeth and going to see the dentist. Books are an excellent way to introduce new experiences; children often relate to the characters and their experiences. Going to the dentist for the first time can be an exciting adventure. Set the stage by talking about it, and if possible, show your child pictures of the office and the dentist they will be visiting. Setting a positive tone will ensure your child has the best visit possible.
At Dental Arts Rego Park, we care about your child’s oral health as much as you do. Call us today to schedule an appointment with our pediatric dentist; let’s keep those baby teeth happy!Back to Blog