Parent’s Guide to Cavity Free Kids!

Kids often closely watch what adults do and mimic these actions. You’ve surely seen it before. It’s adorable and a great piece of info offering adults the tools to support kids in their learning. Following your parents around inside the house, you pick up ways to get things done (things like preparing toast for breakfast or rearranging the sofa cushions) and even carry some of these habits through to adulthood.

However, that doesn’t mean that children will be able to learn the correct way to get something done by merely watching an adult do it. For some things, such as brushing teeth, parents need to do more than let their little ones stand by the bathroom door and watch them go through their oral care routine at night. Teeth brushing is an important activity that has to be done right. Parents have to be firm about helping their kids learn the right dental hygiene habits.

You can take charge of maintaining your kid’s oral hygiene at an early age. By teaching them the proper habits until they can effectively accomplish them on his own. Here are some helpful tips that can make kids see how they can easily maintain the health of their teeth and gums:

Fluoride Toothpaste for kids

There is a correct amount of fluoride toothpaste that must be applied to your kid’s toothbrush.

Babies less than two years old require only a smear of toothpaste on their brush, while kids between 2 and 5 years of age can use a pea-sized amount. We recommend brushing for kids up to age 4 or five depending on their maturity level. Another option is to brush for them for the initial minute, then allow them to try for a minute.

Children must be taught that the toothpaste must be spit out into the sink instead of swallowed after brushing the teeth. This can be a bit challenging to teach since children are more used to being told to swallow things that their parents put in their mouths (food, medicine, etc.), so be patient. Teach them to rinse their mouth with a small amount of water so all the toothpaste can be removed. Purchasing small cups to keep in the bathroom for rinsing works great.

Brushing has to be done on every tooth surface.

Guide your child in moving the toothbrush gently in a back-and-forth motion along the teeth and gums, using short strokes, and then held in an upright motion to reach behind the upper and lower teeth. The tongue must be brushed as well to remove bacteria.

Flossing has to be done at least once a day.

Demonstrate how to use floss correctly so kids can do the same: hold a short length of floss between the thumb and index finger, position it into a C-shaped curve around each tooth, and slide it gently up and down along the side of the tooth and under the gumline. Remember to teach them that a new section of the floss should be used for each tooth so food particles and plaque won’t be returned to the spaces between teeth. Your pediatric dentist should take x-rays once a year and will show you areas of the mouth that are more likely to develop cavities.

Hang Loose Kids!

Your Surfside Kids Dental Team



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