Getting an early start with oral hygiene for kids is crucial to creating good oral care habits! Our pediatric dentist recommends making an appointment for a child’s first dentist appointment by their first birthday. The quote “first visit by first birthday” is a standard rule of thumb. An early examination and early preventative care can create a smile that lasts a lifetime.
Brushing Tips from Your Pediatric Dentist
Brushing your child’s teeth can begin as soon as their first tooth appears. Use a soft bristled brush to brush your child’s gums and teeth once their first tooth breaks the surface. After the age of three, your child may be able to brush on their own with adult supervision. Take care to use a pediatric toothpaste with fluoride and make sure the child does not swallow any excess toothpaste. While brushing, gently move the brush in small circles to brush away any particles near the gum line. As you brush, try to go slowly and brush the surfaces of each tooth. Don’t forget the surfaces of the lower teeth and the upper teeth, the front of the mouth, the tongue, and the inside of the teeth. Make sure to rinse the mouth completely after each instance of brushing. Plan for brushing your child’s teeth at least twice each day. Remember to provide your child with a new toothbrush as soon as the bristles begin to wear down.
When a toothbrush cannot reach between a child’s teeth, it’s time to use dental floss to remove plaque and remaining particles. Using a small piece of floss, gently guide the floss between the teeth to clean them. Using floss sticks may be easier for you and your child to use for flossing each day. Don’t be alarmed if gums bleed during the first few attempts at flossing; this is quite normal. If bleeding becomes a regular occurrence, please contact Kids 4 Ever, your family dental clinic, for an appointment.