If you’re one of the fortunate parents who has a child that gets excited about oral hygiene, consider yourself lucky. For most, the process can be difficult to say the least; however, there are ways to encourage your little one to take pride in their smile. But what if they aren’t brushing and flossing correctly? This is where your pediatric dentist in Katy comes in. During regular appointments, they will be happy to provide useful tips to help you and your child improve their techniques, resulting in a happier, healthier smile. Since it is National Children’s Dental Health Month, why not spend some time reading up on the best practices for brushing and flossing to help your child achieve optimal oral health?
Brushing 101: How to Clean Your Child’s Teeth the Right Way
You want to make sure that your child is using the right size toothbrush, as smaller mouths cannot accommodate a normal, adult size brush head. It’s also important to remember that your child should be brushing their teeth for a full two minutes twice a day, as this is the appropriate amount of time needed to remove harmful bacteria from all areas of the mouth.
When brushing, make sure the brush is at a 45-degree angle and tilted against the gum line while they are cleaning the following areas:
- Inner and outer surfaces of the upper and lower teeth
- Chewing surfaces of all teeth
If necessary, you may need to show your child exactly how to brush. This should include short strokes that are gentle. Brushing too hard can damage teeth and soft oral tissues. It is very important to clean around the gum line and molar areas, even if they are hard to reach.
Another useful tip to remember when helping your child brush their teeth is:
- Using the right kind of toothpaste: A dentist for kids in Katy can determine which type of toothpaste your child should be utilizing. Whether it is one designed to prevent cavities, gingivitis, tartar, sensitivity, or even discoloration, it’s also important that you make sure they are applying the appropriate amount when brushing, which should be no more than a smear (or the size of a grain of rice).
Flossing 101: How to Get In-Between Teeth
Flossing tends to be a bit trickier than brushing, but with the right tools, your child can quickly (and safely) remove bacteria and trapped food particles from in-between their teeth. Here are a few rules to follow:
- Use between 18-24 inches of waxed dental floss.
- Help your child wrap the ends around their index and middle fingers.
- Have your little one hold it tightly while creating a “C” shape and moving it back and forth and up and down.
This technique may take a while to master for small children, but by remaining diligent and helping your child along the way, they’ll be able to do it on their own in no time.
Just remember, it’s best to monitor your child’s oral hygiene regime both in the morning and at night. If you prefer, go ahead and take care of your own teeth and gums at the same time. This will encourage them to keep their mouths clean, and they can watch you do it the right way, asking for help when needed.
About the Author
Dr. Adeel Khan is a board-certified pediatric dentist in Katy, TX. Having received his Doctor of Dental Medicine at the Boston University School of Dental Medicine and graduating Magna Cum Laude, he promises to provide his patients with accessibility, affordability, expertise, and fun appointments thanks to his animated personality. Knowing that children often do not possess the dexterity for effective brushing and flossing, Dr. A and his team can provide useful tips and techniques to ensure your little one is getting the job done properly at home. Let us help you! Visit our website or call (832) 789-8348 for questions or to schedule an appointment.