The moment a baby’s first tooth appears, parents have (another) very big job: teaching their little one proper oral hygiene. The lessons they teach in those early years will help their child take care of his or her smile for the rest of their life – so it’s important to make sure the kids get it right.
However, some parents may need a few lessons themselves before they teach the youngsters. Kids’ teeth are not the same as adults’ and taking care of baby teeth requires extra special care! Today, let’s talk about the best way to take care of kids’ teeth.
Kid’s Oral Hygiene Needs
Good oral hygiene requires good technique – but it also requires excellent tools. Choosing the right toothbrush is an important first step in your dental care routine. This is particularly important for kids, as they have unique needs at different stages in their development.
Here are a few tips to help you choose the right toothbrush for kids of any age:
You might think that a baby doesn’t need a toothbrush. After all, they only have one or two teeth – and some of them still only drink milk or formula! Well believe it or not, babies need toothbrushes. Even if they only have one tooth, they are still vulnerable to cavities.
Babies and toddlers require toothbrushes with very soft bristles. You can start brushing your baby’s teeth and gums as soon as he or she begins teething. This will help keep the gums free from harmful bacteria and get them used to a twice-daily brushing routine.
By the time your baby is four or five, he or she should be brushing their teeth on their own. This means that you’ll need a toothbrush that can accommodate their little hands; look for brushes with long, slim handles. You might also want to invest in a toothbrush with a timer, as this will help ensure your child brushes for a full two minutes.
Additionally, kids’ toothbrush heads should be designed to accommodate both baby and permanent teeth. Most children begin losing their teeth around age six, so they’ll want a brush with bristles soft enough for sensitive baby teeth, but strong enough for the big ones.
Once a kid reaches preadolescence, he or she can brush their teeth without supervision (in fact, they’ll probably insist on it). Tweens’ toothbrushes are very similar to adult toothbrushes, though they may have a smaller head to accommodate a smaller jaw.
Your tween should be able to use either manual or electric toothbrushes effectively, so the decision between the two comes down to personal preference. However, if you start to notice that your child’s teeth aren’t getting clean – maybe he or she isn’t brushing properly or for a long enough time – an electric toothbrush can be a simple way to ensure a cleaner mouth.
While most teenagers understand the basics of dental care, they often have a unique challenge to their oral hygiene: braces. If your teen has braces, Invisalign, or any other form of orthodontic tool, they may need to take special care to keep their teeth clean.
Make sure you are encouraging your teens to take good care of their teeth AND their braces – after all, the smile their straightening will be with them forever!
Call Your Dentist Today
Whether you have a new baby with his first tooth or a teen who needs a deep cleaning, Valley Dental Care can provide you with superior pediatric dentistry services. Call us to schedule an appointment today!