The most recent advice for child oral hygiene is that your child should start regular visits to your family dentist as soon as he or she has reached the age of one year or within six months of the emergence of the first tooth.
Why a child needs to start dental check-ups so early
As the saying goes “prevention is better than cure” and the earlier you get your child to the dentist the better. Your child is exposed to much the same diet as you are, so it’s necessary to ensure that no early dental problems occur as a result of this. You can help your children start a good oral health routine by teaching them how to keep their teeth clean. There are two important recommended tooth cleaning techniques which are brushing and flossing.
This is the most important teeth cleaning method and should commence as soon as your child has teeth that need a clean. Plaque will build up just as much on a young child’s teeth as your own and if left can start the spiral of tooth decay. As soon as you see your child’s baby teeth starting to emerge this is the time to begin to gently clean them. At this stage up to the age of 3 years you can use a damp soft cloth. After that you can introduce a soft bristled toothbrush dabbed with a small amount of toothpaste. You should be in charge of the tooth cleaning at this stage and make sure your child doesn’t accidentally swallow the paste. When your child is 7 years old you can introduce him or her to brushing on their own with supervision to begin with.
How to use the best brushing technique
There is a right way to brush teeth and your child should start with this as described below:
· Brush gently along and above the gum line in small circles
· Hold the brush against each tooth at an angle
· Brush each tooth carefully and slowly
· The back and surface of each tooth
· Brush the mouth’s roof and the tongue
· Brushing time should be at least 2 minutes
· Rinse the mouth of surplus toothpaste.
How often should brushing take place?
Children aren’t treated any different from adults and brushing at least twice a day is recommended. The suggested time is just after rising in the morning and just before going to bed. This is the minimum and if you can encourage your child to brush after meals all the better.
This cleaning method is just as effective as brushing and can begin as soon as your child’s first 2 baby teeth erupt next to one another. You should use soft, but flexible, floss.
How to carry out the best flossing technique
There is a technique to flossing and it’s not just running the floss between 2 adjacent teeth.
· First of all you should teach your child to wrap the floss’s ends around the index fingers leaving a little extra at the end
· The floss should be held taut and run up and down each tooth’s side at the gum line
· A new section should used for each 2 teeth.
· The molars at the back shouldn’t be neglected.
How often should flossing take place?
This process should happen once a day at least, if your child has eaten something sweet, or if a piece of food has become lodged between some teeth.