Good pediatric dental hygiene is a habit learned at home. It can be taught early and in a way that brings parents and children together. At Lifetime Family Dental in Gilbert, we advocate beginning even before your children start teething. Babies love routine. “Brushing” their gums with your finger and water will not only clean their mouth, but it will get them used to the feeling of brushing, a routine that will continue throughout their life.
Brush twice a day
When your child’s teeth come in, you can show them how to brush properly, using a tiny amount of toothpaste. There are several infant toothbrushes available to buy. Of course, they will want to do it themselves, and that’s OK. Just monitor them and help them to thoroughly brush their teeth twice a day. By the time they are six or seven, they should be able to do it without adult supervision. But you might want to check them occasionally to make sure they are reaching all their teeth.
Flossing is a skill that also needs to be taught. It should be another everyday habit. You can begin to let them do it themselves at four or five. If it is an activity that you do together—they will learn how important it is and how to do it properly. As a bonus, your kids will love the extra time they get to spend with you before bedtime.
Watch for cavities and gum problems
Even though children brush twice a day and floss daily, cavities can still form. Keep an eye out for developing problems so they can be remedied quickly. The same goes for gums. Periodontal problems can develop from nutritional deficiencies, injury, or illness. If you see redness or if your child complains of soreness, it’s time for a visit to the dentist.
Schedule regular checkups
At Lifetime Family Dental, we like to see our patients twice a year for cleanings and checkups. Early detection of problems means faster resolution and better oral health. Good pediatric dental hygiene includes X-rays for tracking cavities and for spotting any root problems as permanent teeth come in. We can also suggest adjustments for brushing and flossing if we see that something in the routine needs to be changed. We are a family dental practice; we love kids and want to see them develop bright and healthy smiles. Give us a call and we will set up appointments for your entire family. See you soon!