When should you start brushing your children’s teeth? And what can you do to encourage a reluctant teeth-brusher? Here are some common questions answered to help improve your child’s dental health.
When Should You Start Taking Your Child to the Dentist?
Most dentists will be happy to see children of any age – the sooner you start making regular trips to the dentist the better dental health of your child can be. Many parents don’t take their children to the dentist until they are 5 or 6 years old, and they already have some dental problems. By taking them a bit earlier you can prevent or address any problems before they develop.
It is a good idea to take your child as soon as their first tooth erupts. This is beneficial for a number of reasons:
- You can be introduced into oral health care and what needs to be done.
- You will help familiarize your child with the dentist which will hopefully decrease any potential fear of the dentist.
When Should Your Child Start Brushing Their Own Teeth?
This will vary from child to child. It is often the case that a parent will stop brushing their children’s teeth when they reach 5 or 6 years old, believing they “should be doing it on their own.” This is simply not true; instead you should help tooth brushing until you are confident that your child is properly removing the plaque on their teeth by themselves. It is not uncommon for parents to assist children until they are 8, 9 or 10.
How Should You Brush Your Children’s Teeth?
Use a soft-bristled brush and a pea-sized amount of toothpaste. Begin by brushing gently but thoroughly, ensuring that all the teeth are covered. It can be easier to tilt your child’s head back and stand behind – this will enable you to reach all of the top and bottom rows.
What Can You Do If Your Child Doesn’t Like Having Their Teeth Brushed?
Teeth brushing is one of those areas that shouldn’t be given up on. Unfortunately it is a matter of working continuously with your child daily to make brushing teeth a habit. If you are struggling you could try a reward scheme, or even just use a lot of positive reinforcement is important. Be aware of the way you approach the subject, negative phrases – “Teeth, please!” encourage a negative response. You could also try brushing your own teeth alongside your child from a young age, or even trying fancy coloured or designed toothbrushes.
Which Toothpaste Should Your Children Use?
Children react to packaging and taste so if there is a particular type of toothpaste that your child is comfortable with then this is what you should follow. There are lots of different brands and flavours so try a few to see if there is one that your child responds more positively to.
How Often Should Your Child Brush Their Teeth?
Just like an adult, your children should brush their teeth twice a day; in the morning and before they go to bed. By making this part of their routine it will help to build the habit that they will hopefully continue as an adult.
Need Some Help?
If you live in Leiecester and need some further help with your child’s dental care you can contact The Smile & Implant Centre to book an appointment on: 0116 2541298