There are many aspects to your child’s oral health. While visiting the dentist twice a year is critical, your child’s brushing habits at home are equally important. If you have a younger child, brushing may not be a welcome task. Nonetheless, it is not one that you should let slide as a parent. Not only should your child be brushing twice a day, but they need to be brushing the right way in order to reap the full benefits toward their oral health.
There are a few mistakes that kids (and parents) unintentionally make when it comes to brushing teeth. Here are three guidelines to remember to keep yourself in check:
#1 More Is Not Always Better
You may see glamorous globs of toothpaste on commercials and ads, but this isn’t always an accurate amount of toothpaste that should be used – especially for kids. To effectively clean pediatric teeth, only a small amount is needed. In general, children ages of 3 and 6 need just a “pea size” amount of toothpaste and those younger than 3 are fine to use a “smear” (or about the size of a grain of rice). While using more than the required of amount of toothpaste won’t do any harm on occasion, if your child likes to regularly load up on toothpaste, there is a risk of fluorosis (too much fluoride).
More is not always better when it comes to brushing technique either. For example, brushing “too hard” can damage the tooth enamel and do more harm than good. Food debris, plaque and bacteria are substances that are easily removed with gentle toothbrush pressure.
#2 It’s Not a Race
We get it; tooth brushing typically happens when you are rushing your child out the door in the morning or hurrying them to bed at the end of a long day. However, don’t make the mistake of speed-brushing. Your child should be brushing his or her teeth for a full two minutes twice a day! Keep a timer or use a fun dental app to help them stay the course.
#3 Don’t Go Solo Too Soon
The day your child asks to brush by themselves may not be the day they are ready to handle this dental hygiene task alone. In general, if they are able to tie their own shoe or write in cursive, you can let them brush and floss independently. Until then, you should be doing it for them or closely overseeing the task.
Need A Dentist for Your Family?
At Family Smiles Dental, we value the importance of educating parents and children on proper brushing habits. To make life easier on you, we are a dental practice that proudly treats the entire family. For more tips on how you can encourage optimal dental health in your children at home, please call our Dallas, Georgia office.
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