February is National Children’s Dental Health Month. This year, the American Dental Association selected a theme that focuses on the importance of helping kids “brush and clean in between to build a healthy smile.”
In support and recognition of the event, here are some tips that can make teaching your children the right techniques easier than ever before.
Brushing for a Healthy Smile
Like any skill, learning to brush one’s teeth properly takes both guidance and practice. If you want to make sure your child is using the right approach, begin by providing them with a soft-bristled toothbrush with a small brush head. A child’s mouth is much smaller than an adult mouth, so you need to purchase a toothbrush that isn’t too large.
First, show them how to place a pea-sized dab of toothpaste on their brush. Next, teach them to hold the brush at a 45-degree angle with the bristle tips pointed toward the gumline. Show them how to make gentle back-and-forth strokes and to thoroughly brush each tooth, front and back, and their gums.
Then, make sure they don’t forget to brush their tongue. Tongues can hold a lot of bacteria, so this is a critical step, but it can take some practice, especially if they have a strong gag reflex.
When and How to Teach Flossing
Flossing is a little trickier than brushing, especially for younger children. However, as soon as they have two tooth surfaces pressed against each other, it is time to introduce flossing. Otherwise, food particles and plaque can get stuck between their teeth, leading to halitosis, tooth decay, and gum disease.
First, select a soft, pliable floss. Next, take a long strip and show your child how to wrap the ends around each of their pointer fingers, with one finger holding significantly more floss.
Then, demonstrate how to hold the floss taut without being so tight as to cause their fingers to turn colors. Guide them as they navigate the floss between two teeth and show them how to move to create a slight C-shape before moving the floss up and down on each side of the tooth, including slightly below the gumline.
Finally, show them how to wind the dirty floss to one finger while releasing fresh floss from the other, allowing them to repeat the process until every space is cleaned.
It is important to note that you need to observe your child closely while they are learning to brush and floss. That way, you can make sure they are doing a proper and thorough job.
Make Sure They Keep Their Dental Appointments with their Frisco Dentist
Regular visits to their Frisco dentist are important as this allows your dentist to perform a checkup, ensuring your child’s mouth and teeth are healthy. Plus, it helps your child get comfortable with visiting the dentist, and makes going to the dentist a habit that will serve them well in adulthood.
If you or your child have not had a dental appointment in the last six months, schedule one with your Frisco dentist today.