When and how do I start brushing my child’s teeth?
As soon as your child’s milk teeth begin coming through it’s important to begin a tooth brushing routine with them. Begin by giving them the toothbrush, let them chew it, play with it, do whatever they want with it and then after they are done put a tiny smear of toothpaste on it and very gently brush their teeth for them. This should be done in the morning and last thing before bed.
Please remember to brush very gently as their gums are very tender and if you use too much pressure then this can hurt their gums causing children to associate brushing with pain and see it as a bad thing.
When children are very young their saliva cleanses their teeth naturally, the aim of brushing two times a day is to develop a routine of brushing rather than the brushing itself. Children should be supervised with their brushing until the age of 7. You must make sure that they are spitting out their toothpaste and don’t swallow it. If they do have a tendency to swallow it then make sure you use a low fluoride toothpaste and only use the tiniest amount of toothpaste, we can show you in our surgery exactly how much to use.
Try to encourage your children to brush their teeth for 2-3 minutes. Use children’s timers to make it fun or play them their favourite song whilst they are brushing, typically songs last around 3 minutes. Be sure to encourage them and reward them for their great brushing and effort using charts and stickers. All these things make brushing a positive experience for children rather than a chore!
Speak to our dentists at Platinum Dental Care for tailored advice as to which level of fluoride you should use in your child’s toothpaste. This can vary depending on the other sources of fluoride that your child is exposed to.
As a general guide all children up to 3 years old should use a toothpaste with 1000 ppm (parts per million) fluoride, after this they should use a toothpaste that contains 1350ppm to 1500ppm. The amount of fluoride in each toothpaste can be found on the tube of toothpaste.
There are many different brushes available. Pick something brightly coloured or with their favourite cartoon characters on it as this will encourage your children to brush. It should have a small round head and soft nylon bristles, most brands now have a guideline as to which age group a particular toothbrush is tailored to.
Next week in part three of this blog we will discuss how to prevent tooth decay in children and the different things that can cause toothache in children.
If you have any further questions or would like to book an examination for your child then please Call us now on 02075311717 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org, we look forward to seeing you all.