Model the Way
A recent British study has found that one in 10 children in the U.K. leaves primary school (kindergarten through age 11) without knowing essential life skills, including how to brush their teeth. As a result of the study’s findings, the U.K.’s Oral Health Foundation is calling for a greater focus on the oral health and hygiene practices of young children in that country. But, more attention should be paid to the oral health of children in the United States and around the world in general, too.
Even here in the U.S., there are a few things we need to talk about to make sure that taking proper care of the teeth is paramount. We stress the importance of taking care of the teeth from a young age because it establishes a solid foundation for good oral health, which leads to tooth retention. And, while we are here for all your dental implant and smile restoration needs, we want your mouth to be healthy, too!
How to Encourage Your Child to Take Care of Their Teeth
Cleaning your child’s teeth should be part of their everyday oral hygiene routine, but in some cases – especially with little ones – this can be easier said than done. Here are a few tips:
- Start brushing when the first tooth appears using a soft-bristled brush and a tiny bit of fluoride.
- Sit behind your child with their chin in your hand to reach their top and bottom teeth more easily.
- Brush in small, circular motions focusing on one quadrant of the mouth at a time.
- Don’t forget to brush on the inside of the teeth and also the gums.
- Teach your child to spit out toothpaste after brushing and do not rinse so that fluoride stays on the teeth.
- Make brushing a routine and do it at the same time each day; we suggest before bedtime and after breakfast.
- We suggest that you oversee your child’s brushing until at least age 7.
Brushing at least twice per day and flossing at least once per day can help keep the bacteria that cause tooth decay from damaging the teeth.
By establishing good habits early on, you are helping to create a foundation of good hygiene practices and reducing the risk of developing tooth decay and gum disease.
We want to keep your smile healthy for life. We’d love to talk to you about your smile restoration options, dental implants and oral health questions. Call Dr. Pollock today at 469-757-4433 to schedule a consultation.