Brushing and flossing your teeth may feel like second nature, but that isn’t the case for your children. Teaching your children how to take care of themselves is an important aspect of parenting. This is no different when it comes to learning how to take care of their teeth and gums.
The first thing you need to know is what age your kids should start brushing and flossing. While a baby certainly can’t brush their own teeth, you can clean their mouth after each feeding. You’ll need to brush their teeth for them until they are old enough to do it on their own. When your kids are between the ages of two and five, only a pea-sized amount of toothpaste should be used.
During the ages of six and eight some children are capable of brushing by themselves. Be sure to inspect their teeth after the brush to make sure they are not missing any areas. Here are some tooth brushing basics to teach your children once they are old enough to brush for themselves.
- The minimum brushing time should be at least two minutes
- Be sure to brush every tooth every time
- Hold the toothbrush at a 45° angle and gently against the gum line
- Start at the base of the tooth and brush to the chewing surface
- Use short and round strokes for brushing the front and back of teeth
- Use short and sweeping strokes for chewing surfaces
- Finish by brushing the tongue and roof of the mouth
Be patient with your kids as it may take them a while to get the basics of brushing down. Be sure to change their toothbrush three or four times a year. To encourage brushing you can allow them to choose their favorite toothbrush featuring kid friendly characters. Also be sure that their toothbrushes contain soft bristles.
Your children should first visit their dentist about the age of one or once their first primary tooth emergences from their gums. Call Tribeca Dental Studio to schedule an appointment at 347-508-6412.