Good oral care for kids should start early with training in the common oral hygiene practices that need to be completed on a daily basis. Brushing the teeth should occur at least twice daily and it would be in the best interest of the child if the habit of brushing after every meal is instilled at an early age. A good fluoride toothpaste should be used in conjunction with a soft bristled brush to avoid damaging or irritating the gum tissue. A proper amount of toothpaste should be placed on the brush and all areas of the mouth including the tongue and the roof should be brushed for a minimum of two minutes. Some parents it find it helpful to obtain a small timer to make it easier to keep track. Some modern electronic toothbrushes have a timer built right in that flashes until it is time to stop.
Flossing is most likely going to be the area of kids’ oral care that will be the most difficult to get them to do on a regular basis. If you can only get your child to floss once a day then include it with the bedtime brushing, however, flossing twice a day is much better. Many new types of dental floss are available that slide between teeth much easier and you may want to try a different type until you find one that your child will use on a regular basis. Flossing should begin as soon as a child has two teeth that are touching each other and will need to be done for them until they are old enough to handle the task on their own. Flossing must be done carefully, firmly enough to remove all food particles but not so firmly as to cause bleeding.
After brushing and flossing, a child’s oral care routine should be finished off with an oral rinse. You should avoid allowing your child to use your mouthwash if it is one that is primarily composed of alcohol. There are products made especially for children that contain fluoride to help strengthen their teeth, just be careful to monitor the use of these products to ensure that they are not swallowed as fluoride can be poisonous in large doses. Besides strengthening the teeth with fluoride, the oral rinse will help wash away all of the food particles and bacteria that were knocked loose by brushing and flossing. This bacteria is what cause plaque and cavities.
Kids’ oral care begins at home with the parents but this does not mean that they should be avoiding trips to see the dentist. It is important to have regular dental check ups for children so that any potential problems with their teeth can be spotted early and prevented from becoming bigger issues later. Your family dentist will also be able to advise you on the correct oral care program that your children should be following at home. Keeping teeth and gums healthy is a lot easier than having to have problems fixed later on so it pays to be vigilant in teaching kids proper oral care.