How to Brush and Floss Effectively
The dental needs of children and adults can be very different, which is why it is important to use the tools designed for your age group, especially toothbrushes. It is recommended however that both adults and children use tooth brushes with both soft and rounded bristles, for gentle and effective cleaning. Your toothbrush should be replaced roughly every three months.
Brushing the teeth of an infant can be difficult but it is essential for giving them a good start. To start off simply wipe your child’s teeth with a soft moist cloth or gauze square. As they grow older it is ok to brush their teeth with a small amount of toothpaste pushed into the bristles, so they are unable to swallow it. Around the ages of two or three you should start trying to teach your child to brush on their own. Encourage them to not brush too hard and to use a smooth back and forth motion to keep their teeth clean.
Once your child has gotten a bit older they can switch to a more advanced method. To start hold the brush at a 45 degree angle towards both the teeth and the gums. Brush with short strokes, back and forth. Make sure to brush all surfaces of the teeth, inside outside and the chewing surface. Brush the tongue as well, and do not forget to floss daily to get those hard to reach places.
When should brushing begin?
As soon as your child’s teeth start erupting then you can start using the moist cloth technique. When they have more full teeth then you may start to use a soft child’s toothbrush. Make sure to use a minimal amount of non fluoride toothpaste until you are sure that your child will not swallow it.
Getting most toddlers to regularly brush their teeth can be a difficult task. Brushing your teeth at the same time as them may help encourage them. Allowing your child to pick the toothpaste will give them some sense of control over the situation. Let them brush their own teeth, you may have to help but this will also help them develop more independence. Reading children’s books about brushing their teeth can also help encourage them.
Part of motivating your children to want to brush their teeth is to help them realize what is so important about it. Letting them eat or drink something that will stain their teeth temporarily will help demonstrate this, since they’ll be able to see how it is brushed clean. Starting a tooth brushing routine will help them develop positive oral care habits as well.
Martindale Dental provides both general and specialty dentistry under one roof. For more than 20 years, our dentists have been advocates for their patients oral health care needs. Our dental offices are conveniently located in Toronto, North York, St Catharines, North York, Burlington, Milton East and Milton West, Ontario. We offer convenient before & after work and weekend appointments.