Pediatric dentists and the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry all recommend that parents do the brushing until a child is 2 or 3 years old. Up until that time a soft bristle toothbrush is all that is necessary, toothpaste is not prescribed until the child has developed the motor skills to brush on his own. It may be easier at first to sit your child on your lap facing away from you and brush from behind.
Once your child is old enough you can start using a fluoride toothpaste, but always make sure that he rinses completely to get rid of any excess. Swallowing toothpaste can make for a very upset stomach or something worse!
Watching you brush your own teeth is a great way to set an example for your child. Be sure to show him how to angle the brush to reach between each tooth and remove any plaque or food particles that may be caught there. Brush in a circular motion over all of your teeth explaining each step as you go. Don’t brush too hard or too fast, and don’t forget to brush your tongue – the tongue is a perfect place for bacteria to linger.
If there is more than one child in your family you may be at an advantage when it comes to teaching them how to care for their teeth, a little sibling rivalry never hurts. Make brushing a family affair complete with time and progress charts. The family member who has the best checkup earns the most stars – til next time. Kids love to compete with each other, and with their parents.
Speaking of checkups, your children need to know that regularly scheduled visits with their pediatric dentist is essential to maintaining good oral health – and keep from getting a cavity! Finding the perfect dental home at a young age will assure that your child will be comfortable in the surroundings early on.
Dentist 4 Kidz in Aurora is open to welcoming new patients. Call 303-367-1502 for your family consultation.