Dental health for your child is a big concern for many parents. You understand the need for proactive care, but are not sure when is the right time. There are a couple of standards to remember: the first visit should be by the first birthday, or within six months of the first tooth’s appearance. Keep in mind that you can begin imparting good dental habits even earlier, by mimicking the brushing of teeth, and actually brushing of the teeth as soon as they appear. If your child’s teeth appear and they look unhealthy in any way, be sure to make an appointment sooner rather than later. It is never too early to be proactive about your child’s dental health.
How to Brush
The teaching of basic brushing techniques should begin as early as possible. Use a small dollop of toothpaste up to the age of six, and then increase the amount. One of the most important points to get across is that it should not be rushed. Show through demonstration and with your own habits that everyone should brush their teeth for at least two minutes at a time. How can you do this? Find a 2 minute song that your child loves, and make it the “Teeth Time” song.
Be thorough. Brush every tooth, every time. Pay attention to each tooth. Make sure you don’t forget the gums, tongue and roof! Every part of the mouth deserves some brushing. For the teeth, brush the base and sides, and across the top or bottom, hitting every crevice.
When to Start Flossing
While one tooth does not require floss, be sure to begin flossing as soon as it is necessary. When is this? Pay attention and notice when teeth are close enough together that the toothbrush cannot thoroughly clean in between each one. Once that happens, gather plenty of floss, and begin to gently move it in between the teeth that the bristles of your toothbrush do not reach.
How Can a Dentist Help?
A dental practice that has a focus in Family Dentistry, like Dr. Louis K. Cheung, DDS, is ideal for teaching your children the best dental habits. Starting at a young age is key. If you are not sure how to teach your child these skills, do not worry. Make an appointment today, and Dr. Cheung will gladly help you both navigate the waters of great dental habits!