Whenever children visit a dental clinic the dentist will mention that they should regularly brush their teeth especially if they are showing signs of tooth decay. Keeping your children's pearly whites sparkling has more to do with habit than having the best dentist. Here are some tips on teeth-cleaning that may be useful.
Choosing a Toothbrush
Make sure the bristles on your child's toothbrush are not too hard. Keep in mind that their gums are quite tender and hard bristles could lead to bleeding. Pick a toothbrush which fits snugly in your child's mouth. If children can brush their teeth comfortably then they will do so more often and effectively. Finally, manufacturers nowadays add some fun features on brushes to attract children. To make it easier for them to adopt the habit, make it fun for them by picking such toothbrushes.
Children tend to enjoy their teeth-cleaning routine because of the sweet taste of toothpaste. So it is important that you pick the right kind of toothpaste. This does not necessarily mean buying products with the label 'children's toothpaste'. Products with such a label sometimes lack enough fluoride to prevent decay. Family toothpaste has enough fluoride to cater for children of all ages. If in doubt, ask your dentist.
When it comes to usage, a pea-sized dribble of toothpaste should do. Keep them from licking the toothpaste tube as well.
Proper Tooth Brushing
The first set of milk teeth do not have to be brushed vigorously to encourage the child to observe good dental hygiene. Smearing them with toothpaste at that point will do. With time, however, they can start brushing their teeth twice every day; once before going to bed and at any other time of day. Because children's motor coordination is in the development stage, the brushing process may be messy at first but with supervision they get better. Supervision includes:
- Guiding their hand for correct movement
- Using a mirror so that the child sees the section of the mouth being cleaned
- Encouraging them to rinse their mouths with water after spitting excess toothpaste
- Keeping them from running around, toothbrush in mouth, to avoid accidents.
- Reminding them to brush the tongue to prevent bad breath
Generally one starts with brushing their teeth for them and moves to watching them do it by themselves until they have mastered it. The important thing is to make teeth-cleaning fun for them. In addition, let the child get familiar with the dental clinic's environment. Teeth-cleaning goes beyond just brushing of teeth and the dentist will spot any other dental problems early.