You might look at your child’s mouthful of shiny, pearly teeth and think they’re in great shape. But did you know that tooth decay is the most common chronic childhood disease — causing children to lose millions of school hours every year from dental-related illness?
Make sure you’re instituting healthy oral hygiene habits in your house by brushing with your child twice a day. Children love when you brush your own teeth with them, and you’re showing them the importance of taking good care of your teeth and gums.
Show your son or daughter how to brush the outer surface of their teeth along the gum line, using a gentle circular motion. Teach them how to brush the chewing surfaces of their teeth with a scrubbing motion. Then show them how to brush the insides of their front teeth by holding the brush vertically, and using short up-and-down strokes.
Once a day, floss alongside your child, and explain to them why it’s important to remove plaque and food particles from between their teeth and below their gumline. Even if they’re great brushers, skipping the floss would mean they miss as much as 30% of their tooth surface, which would be bad news!
You can make flossing easier for your child by buying plastic-handled flossing devices — they’re easier for their little hands to grip, and they still do a great job.
Remember that your child will lack the manual dexterity to brush their own teeth properly until they’re nine or 10 years old. So until that point, it’s important that you let them brush, and then do a quick “touch-up” job to make sure everything is really clean.
We’re always happy to answer any questions you may have about kids brushing and flossing, so give us a call anytime!