Kids and good oral hygiene don’t always go together so easily, so here are my top 5 tips on how to care for your child’s teeth properly and how to make it a little bit easier too.
When Should I start brushing my kid’s teeth?
As soon as your baby’s teeth come through (good luck with the teething process!). Brushing them with a child’s toothpaste is important to avoid over fluoridation or mottling.
Shortly after that they should have their first dental appointment – within 6 months of their first tooth coming through. As far as brushing is concerned the emphasis should be on a gentle introduction to the sensations and tastes associated with brushing and work towards a regular routine. This will yield dividends later.
Make brushing fun
For older children who are brushing by themselves how can you ensure it’s a bit more fun and doesn’t end up being a cursory ten second brush? I’ve recently seen a Musical brush that will play 2 minutes of a popular song directly into their mouth via vibrations. Shop here.
Something to think about and work towards for parents is that coming up to puberty most children will have some crowding and need braces please note that dentists will not want to fit braces to a child who doesn’t demonstrate good oral hygiene. Your dentist will flag up such issues on the run-up to orthodontic referral.
Picking the right toothbrush for your child
Choosing the best toothbrush can be difficult – there are so many options! For babies, pick one that’s small, soft, and angled so you can reach all the required areas and don’t irritate their mouths.
For slightly older children a soft brush would still be recommended but now the aesthetic side of it comes into play; with brushes themed after favourite characters, bands, celebrities etc. The quality of the brush is still very important, but the choice may be skewed slightly in favour of buying ‘the one they will actually use’.
Make sure your tooth brushing technique is correct
Don’t let them get into bad habits – firstly, this means getting it right yourself! If you are unsure ask your dentist; using the movements below you will get those bristles to work on every ‘nook and cranny on the teeth. Click here.
Here’s a quick breakdown on correct tooth brushing technique:
- Use angled circular motions
- Brush for two minutes
- Brush beyond the visible tooth area
- Cover the roof of the mouth and surface of the tongue
- Don’t brush too hard
Regular check-ups for your children are vital
Start as soon as they have teeth, twice a year without fail. Going for extra cleaning is recommended – at any age (that includes you, Mum & Dad!). We recommend visiting specialist paediatric dentistry for children to ensure they are receiving the best dental care possible.
There is no excuse for not taking your children to regular dental checkups.