Brushing and Flossing Guidelines from a Kids Dentist in Carlsbad

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When your child learns good brushing and flossing habits, they can effectively prevent gum disease and early childhood tooth decay. These steps to maintain good dental health are critical to the child’s overall health, and a kids dentist in Carlsbad can help your child to understand the proper techniques that should be used while they are brushing and flossing. Here are a few suggestions to consider:

Age Guidelines
Different dental health steps should be taken depending on the age of the child. Young infants, as small as 2 or 3 years old, can begin learning how to brush their teeth. At this point, be sure to use a soft-bristled toothbrush and a tiny amount of toothpaste without fluoride. Help them to learn how to spit out the toothpaste and to move the toothbrush along the surface of the teeth.

As the child grows and learns to spit out the toothpaste, you can make the transition to have them use toothpaste with fluoride. When the child is 7 or 8 years old, they are usually big enough to brush their teeth by themselves. Children under the age of 9 years old usually need help with flossing, and you can help them learn to master this skill so that they can begin to do it on their own.

Brushing Movements
Make sure you are using a soft bristled brush for children, and be careful about the force and speed that the brush is moved in their mouth. Position the toothbrush to be at a 45 degree angle towards the gums, and use small, short strokes to move the brush back and forth. The width of the movement should be about a half a tooth.

As you are teaching the child, help them to understand the importance of brushing the front, back and chewing surfaces of the tooth. Also, use the brush to gently clean the tongue in order to remove any debris or bacteria that may have collected on the tongue surface. Also, help them to floss every day.

Helping Kids Find Motivation to Brush Their Teeth
Sometimes kids don’t want to brush their teeth, but there are a few things that you can to do help them find the motivation and desire to practice this habit daily. Start by considering the toothbrush and toothpaste that they are using. You might even take them to the store, so that they can select the toothbrush and toothpaste flavor on their own. Some children like to have several toothbrushes to choose from, because then they can feel a sense of control by choosing the color or cartoon character that they want to brush with each day.

A great way to help your child develop good brushing habits is by being a good example to them when you are brushing your own teeth. Sometimes a kids dentist in Carlsbad will even suggest that you have family brushing time, when everyone brushes together.

Regular checkups are also important for your child’s dental health, call Carlsbad Children’s Dentistry to schedule an appointment at: (760) 633-1131