A good oral hygiene routine is essential when children aren’t in the dentist’s office. Learning how to care for your child’s smile at home and then eventually allowing them to care for their own smiles will help your child maintain healthy teeth and gums. Dr. Dan Moheban and his office staff will also be glad to help you and your child if you have any questions about how to best care for your smiles. Here we will review tips to keep in mind when it comes to oral hygiene for children from our Worcester, MA, office.
Oral Hygiene for Children in Worcester, MA
Even before your child’s baby teeth emerge, it’s important to get in the habit of taking care of their teeth. Not only will you be able to protect your child’s teeth when they finally do come in, but you’ll also be able to protect their delicate oral soft tissues from sensitivities or yeast overgrowth.
Before teeth come in, take a damp washcloth and gently wipe the gum tissue of both arches. Make it a habit throughout the day and especially before bedtime. After teeth come in, you can use a small child toothbrush. Adult brushes will not work for your child’s smile because child brushes are softer and fit the mouth. Gently brush your child’s teeth after every meal, using a pea-sized amount of toothpaste.
There are many things that you can do to make your brushing fun. For example, you can play your child’s favorite song while brushing so they know how long to brush: we recommend two minutes twice a day. Also, encourage your child to “brush” their doll’s or plush’s teeth and their own teeth to make it a communal activity.
Once children reach about 9 years of age, it’s time to let them care for their own smiles. To help your child transition, monitor their brushing and flossing. When brushing, children should learn to brush in circular motions, beginning at the gum line. They should hold the brush at an angle, gently brushing each tooth before brushing the tongue and roof of the mouth. Children should brush their teeth twice a day, first thing in the morning and before bed. Additionally, children should floss at least once a day or more if there is a piece of food stuck between their teeth.
Our dental team can also give your child tips on techniques or areas to focus on as needed. We can also provide personalized advice to address common risk factors like cavities.
Call Our Pediatric Office
Do you have any questions about how to clean your child’s smile? Do you need to schedule your child’s next routine cleaning? Please call our office at (508) 625-5534. You can also schedule a dental consultation with us on our website.