From the moment your child's teeth start to pop through the gums, you need to make sure that they stay clean, protected and cavity-free. Follow some of these top tips for pediatric dentistry.
Use the proper tools
- Start early. Even before a tooth erupts, you can clean your child's gums with a soft gum brush.
- Pick the right brush. For children younger than three years old, look for a soft-bristle toothbrush with a very small head. As children get older, look for an electric toothbrush that features a whimsical character on its base. This will encourage elementary-aged children to brush, and will help them reach all of their teeth.
- Pick the right toothpaste. For young children, use pea-sized amount of toothpaste. For older children, try different flavors. Your child may prefer strawberry instead of mint paste.
- Avoid standard floss. Buy floss with handles instead of trying to teach tiny hands to hold and manipulate a slippery string.
Once your child is about three or four, you can encourage more independence in brushing. Teach your child how to move the toothbrush in small, circular motions inside of the mouth, focusing on the gum line to remove tartar and plaque.
Once old enough, encourage your child to look into the mirror during flossing so that every tooth can be seen. Demonstrate moving the floss in between each tooth, scraping along the sides with floss to remove buildup.
Do you have a child who is resistant to brushing? Read a book or watch a video about proper dental care with your children. You can find these materials at your local library, which can help reluctant brushers feel more comfortable with the process.
Talk to your Atlanta-area dentist if you still have questions or concerns about caring for your child's teeth or any other topics related to pediatric dentistry. A dentist can also help you schedule regular dental cleanings and checkups for your child.