November 19, 2018
Want to know how to teach your kids good dental habits that will last them for a lifetime? We want to help. That’s why, in this post, we’re answering some of the most common questions on the topic. Use this information from a pediatric dentist in Birmingham to help your children enjoy healthy teeth and gums for many, many years to come.
When Should Kids Start Brushing on Their Own?
Most children may be able to start brushing by themselves between 6 to 8 years of age. Check with your family dentist if you have any concerns.
How Often Should Children Brush?
You should teach your children to brush at least twice a day, each morning and each evening. After each meal is better, but may not be practical with a modern family’s busy schedule.
What Kind of Toothbrush Should Children Use?
Dentists usually recommend a soft bristled toothbrush for most patients. This goes double for children, as their teeth and gums are still in a state of development. Be sure that the toothbrush they use bears the ADA seal of acceptance on the packaging.
Are Powered Toothbrushes Better for Children?
Most dentists feel that manual toothbrushes are just as good as the battery- powered type. However, some children may be more likely to brush if they use a battery-powered product due to the “fun factor.”
How Should I Teach My Children to Brush?
Practicing proper brushing technique is just as important as the frequency with which we brush. Here are some tips you should give your kids about performing this important task:
- They should hold the brush at a 45 degree angle in relation to their upper and lower teeth. This helps to ensure maximum contact with the tooth surface.
- They should move the brush gently back and forth, using short strokes, over all sides of the teeth.
- They should take a moment to brush their tongue and the roof of their mouth as well as their teeth.
How Should I Teach my Kids to Floss?
Flossing is an often overlooked aspect of dental self-care. This is unfortunate, because flossing is the only way to clean areas of the teeth that a brush cannot reach. So by all means, encourage your children to floss at least once a day.
They should gently move the string in both an up-and-down and side-to-side motion along the teeth and under the gum line. They should use a new section of string for each tooth in order to avoid reinserting plaque and food particles. If they dislike using floss string, then you may want to teach them to use an interdental toothbrush instead.
What’s the Single Best Way to Teach my Kids Good Dental Habits?
One of the best ways to teach your kids good dental habits is by modeling the right behaviors yourself. Seeing you taking the time to take care of your teeth will inspire them to do so as well. There’s no better way to lay the foundation for a lifetime of healthy teeth and gums.
About the Author
Dr. Angelica Rohner earned her DMD degree from the University of Mississippi School of Dentistry. She’s a board-certified pediatric dentist and a proud member of the American Dental Association (ADA). You can reach her office online or by calling (205) 870-0892.
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