Teaching Children Dental Hygiene – Posted 02/01/2016
Good dental hygiene should start when your child is still an infant. After your infant is done with breast milk or formula, take a moist washcloth to wipe your baby’s gums. This can be done until your child starts to eat solid food. After solid food is consumed or teeth start to emerge, it is suggested that a finger brush is purchased. This brush is made out of rubber, has soft bristles and slips onto your index finger comfortably. Gently rub the finger brush along your child’s gum line and around the emerging teeth. Around this time, it is also best to go seek out a pediatric dentist.
After your child has been to the dentist and continues to develop more teeth, it is suggested that they should start brushing their teeth with a soft bristled toothbrush. Toothbrushes with firm bristles may cause irritation in a young child’s mouth and will discourage them from brushing. A soft bristled brush is gentler on your child’s gums. Have the child use a small amount of toothpaste that includes fluoride. If your child uses too much toothpaste, the foam created could interfere with the bristles actually cleaning the teeth. Also, kids may take the excess foam as a game and will not understand the importance of dental hygiene.
When you are first teaching your child how to brush their teeth, it is recommended that you as the parent do the brushing, as the child may not know how to properly hold the toothbrush. Stand behind them and reach around to hold the toothbrush in a comfortable manner. Ask your child how it feels and if it is comfortable. If it is not, stop and make sure the gums are not irritated.
When your child is older, brush along with them. Make sure you have them brush twice a day and show them how to brush all the way to the back molars and along the gum lines. Explain to them what could happen if your child does not keep up with brushing or does not do quality brushing. When discussing this, do not scare your child, rather show how important dental hygiene is. When dental hygiene is discussed at an earlier age it is more likely your child will continue his good habits into adulthood and will prevent future oral problems.