All you need to know about your kids teeth and brushing.
It can often be very confusing as to when and how you should brush your kids teeth – so here are our tips and suggestions to keep their teeth healthy and cavity free!
When should I start brushing them?
As soon as you can seem them! Kids teeth actually start forming when they are in the womb but don’t show themselves until about 18 months of age. There is a lot of variability at this age though so don’t stress if they come a bit early or a bit late.
The Who, What and How of toothbrushing for children!
WHO should be brushing? – Mom or Dad is the best person at this age to be brushing
WHAT should I be using? – A soft small headed kids toothbrush. No Toothpaste at this stage but we recommend running the toothbrush under some warm water to soften the bristles
HOW should I be brushing? – The focus is to remove any debris away from the teeth. A gentle sweeping action is best but more importantly its getting the little used to having their teeth brushed.
WHO – As kids are getting older and understand what is happening its good to encourage them to have a go brushing. However it should definitely be a team effort! Even if they are being great and brushing for 2 whole minutes we still recommend mom or dad having the last look before bed.
WHAT – a small pea sized amount of kids toothpaste works best. Kids toothpaste has about 40% of the fluoride of adults toothpaste so there is no danger if kids swallow it. You should still encourage them to spit out. It can sometimes help to practice spitting out with water first!
HOW – we advise kids to brush their teeth in big circles and to not forget the inside of the teeth as well. When checking their teeth focus on the areas where the gum meets the teeth and if you can still see any debris it might be time for mom to have a quick go!
WHO – Your kids should be getting the hang of brushing by now. If you’ve been checking regularly and they are doing a good job the main aim will be to encourage them to keep brushing and looking after their teeth.
WHAT – The adult molars start to come through around 6 years and at this point we would recommend a small pea sized amount of adult toothpaste. The extra fluoride helps to strengthen and protect the adult teeth, and after all we need those teeth to stay strong for the next 80+ years!
Some Quick Tips!
1. If you are having trouble getting your child to open their mouth – get them to look up at the ceiling. Most children will drop their bottom jaw as their head tilts up.
2. Electric toothbrushes can make brushing easier and fun. Plus save you in the long term by keeping teeth healthy and clean. Most electric toothbrushes come with exchangeable heads so the one unit can be shared amongst the whole family. They usually start from around $40 at your local pharmacy
3. All parents will know it can be difficult convincing kids to maintain good brushing and cleaning every night. Providing incentive for your kids with a sticker or chart system on the fridge or in the bathroom can help motivate them. If they’ve been doing great and keeping up with it bring the chart along and we will make sure to reward them for their good efforts with dental goodies!
We hope you have found that helpful. If there is anything else we can do to help care for your child’s dental needs just head to contact us at dentistorange.com.au for more details of how you can get in touch!