Some of you might already know that February is National Children’s Dental Health Month—and no matter how old or young your kiddo might be, it’s the perfect time to brush up on some dental health and hygiene techniques! Your child probably won’t begin cutting teeth until they’re nine-to-ten months old, but what do you do before then?
Stage One: Infancy
- Wiping off your infant’s gums after feeding is always a good idea—you can gently swab your infant’s mouth with a warm damp cloth, a piece of moistened gauze wrapped around your finger, or even specialized rubber thimbles with bristles!
Stage Two: Teeth are developed
- Once your child does start getting teeth, it’s time to start brushing! Introduce your children to brushing by letting them pick out their own toothbrush and toothpaste! (We do recommend guiding them toward a safe-to-swallow fluoridated variety, and a soft-bristle character brush).
- Brush with your toddler! Set a timer (or listen to a two-minute song) and dance along! Make it fun— brushing their teeth won’t be a chore, and they’ll want to do it all the time!
- Introduce flossing at this point as well. While your children’s baby teeth are probably widely spaced, floss anyway. At least once a day, floss with your kids using a proper technique (making a “C” shape with the floss and working it around both sides of each tooth).
Stage Three: Bye Bye Baby Teeth
- Once your child begins losing teeth and growing some permanent ones, the stakes are much higher! Still brush with your child once or twice a week as a “quality spot check”—just to be sure your child is still brushing properly for the correct amount of time!
- Follow the two-by-two rule always—that’s brushing (at least) twice a day for two minutes each time!
- According to the ADA, your whole family should change out your toothbrushes at least every three months, sooner if the bristles are damaged or after a sickness!
Brushing tips for everyone: A quick reminder, just in case!
- Use a pea-sized amount of your favorite, fluoridated toothpaste.
- Keep your toothbrush at a 45 degree angle along the gum line.
- Brush the back, front and chewing surface of each tooth individually.
- Use the tip of the brush to get behind the furthest molars.
- Take time to brush your tongue, cheeks and gums too!
With some basic practices and a little time investment, you can be sure your child’s teeth are happy and healthy from the time they’re infants all the way to graduation and beyond! Give us a call today to schedule an appointment at 216-325-9755!
Happy Children’s Dental Health Month Everyone!