Children may not be very good at cleaning teeth and mouth. The dexterity of the child and the attitude of the parent determine the tooth brushing habit. Cleaning should be started after the first teeth appear in the baby’s mouth (6-8 months). After each feeding, the teeth are wiped with a clean cheesecloth or gauze. Teeth can be cleaned with a soft toothbrush starting from 1-1.5 years of age. Toothbrush should consist of small, flat, soft and nylon bristles. Children can use toothbrushes after their second birthday, but this is just for habituation. This task belongs to the parents. After the age of 2.5, a very small amount of toothpaste can be put on the toothbrush. But it should never be swallowed.
Factors That Help Prevent Caries
Teaching the right oral care rules to your child at an early age is an important investment for his health. By taking good care of your own teeth, you can give the message that oral health is important and set a good example for your child. You can make oral and dental care fun and encourage oral care by brushing your own teeth with your child or letting them choose their own toothbrush.
Brush your teeth twice a day with a fluoride toothpaste approved by the ADA (American Dental Association) to remove the plaque-adhesive film on teeth, which is the main cause of tooth decay.
Once a day, floss between teeth to remove plaque from under the gumline and between your teeth, before plaque hardens into tartar. Once tartar has formed, it can only be removed with professional cleaning.
Adopt a balanced diet that restricts starchy or sugary foods that cause dental caries and build up plaque acids. When consuming these foods, try to consume them with your food instead of between meals – the extra saliva produced during eating helps clean the food in the mouth.
Use products that contain fluoride, such as toothpaste.
Make sure the water your children drink is fluoridated. If your mains, well, or bottled water does not contain fluoride, your dentist or pediatrician may prescribe daily fluoride supplements.
Take your child to the dentist for regular dental checkups.
What Brushing Techniques Can I Show My Child?
Until your child gets used to these simple actions, you may want to supervise him:
- Use a pea-sized amount of a fluoride toothpaste recommended by the ADA (American Dental Association). Make sure your child does not swallow the toothpaste.
- With a soft-bristled toothbrush, first brush the inner surfaces of all teeth, the area where plaque builds up the most. Brush with gentle back and forth motions.
- Clean the outer surfaces of all teeth. Brush the brush towards the gum line. Brush with gentle back and forth motions.
- Brush the chewing surface of each tooth. Brush with gentle back and forth motions.
- Use the tip of the brush to clean the back, top and bottom of each front tooth.
- Brushing the tongue is always fun!
When Should a Child Start Floss?
Dental floss should be used from the age of 4, as it removes food particles and plaque between the teeth that cannot be cleaned with the brush. Many children can start flossing on their own by the age of 8. As the Istanbul Smile Center team, we are trying to enable your children to have much healthier teeth by offering them encouraging suggestions with small games for oral and dental care.