When we brush and floss our teeth, we enjoy fresher breath and yes, a healthier smile. But how early should one start cleaning their teeth? In today’s blog, we’re talking to parents in Galveston, TX, about when they should help their children start brushing and flossing. You may need to start earlier than you think!
Babies and Toddlers
As soon as a tooth arrives, cleaning daily is necessary. For babies, you can often use a piece of cloth or gauze to gently clean the tooth. As your little one grows and more teeth erupt, you can upgrade to a more age appropriate toothbrush. Even at this young age, the particles left behind from milk and juice could be broken down by bacteria, causing tooth decay. As long as your child is under the age of three, he or she should only use toothpaste that doesn’t contain fluoride. Once they reach age three, a pea-sized drop of fluoridated toothpaste helps protect the tooth enamel. When that first tooth erupts, you should schedule a visit within the next six months for a checkup. The initial visit typically involves no treatment, instead we examine your child’s smile to make sure teeth are erupting properly. During routine six-month checkups, we will watch for the warning signs of cavities or developing misalignment, allowing you to address these issues in the early stages.
Your children will need to continue brushing twice daily, once in the morning and again at night. Each session should take two minutes to ensure proper brushing and that every tooth is reached. Once they have teeth sitting side-by-side, flossing becomes a necessity too, as floss reaches the bits of food trapped between teeth and along the gum line that a toothbrush may not be able to. You can assist your younger children and monitor your older ones to ensure proper cleaning. You may also consider purchasing a timer or small hour glass to help them keep track of how long they’re cleaning their teeth.
With teens, you may need to remind them, but you shouldn’t have to assist them. Instead, they should maintain the same habits that will carry their smiles into adulthood, brushing twice daily for two minutes and flossing every night before going to bed. If they have misalignment, we may discuss orthodontic care to address poor alignment and maintain a healthy and beautiful smile. If you have any questions, then please contact our team today.
Do You Have Questions About Children’s Dentistry?
We want to help your little ones enjoy optimal oral health with routine homecare. For more information on improving oral hygiene, then schedule an appointment by calling Children’s Dental in Galveston, TX, today at 409-744-4551.