Pediatric Dental Hygiene
Tending to your Teeth.
Let’s begin with brushing. Say with the first or second bath, begin cleaning your child’s mouth with a clean washcloth and warm water. Once their teeth sprout up, begin brushing them with a soft toothbrush using just a smear of kid’s fluoridated toothpaste. The small amount of fluoride that they will swallow will be negligible, yet the topical benefit of the fluoride is so important for those brand new teeth. Again, we emphasize using a smear just enough to color the bristles and give it some flavor. Not a pea, a smear.
Of course we often hear, “What kind of toothpaste and toothbrush should my little one use?” Well, the simple answer is whatever toothbrush and toothpaste they like. Stay away from an adult toothpaste until they understand spitting and only use toothpaste that has been approved by the American Dental Association. And with little ones especially, be mindful of the flavor of toothpaste you choose and where it’s left. From personal knowledge, some kids really love the taste of strawberry toothpaste, and may be inclined to suck it down like an icing tube.
Now as for flossing, you start when you have two teeth touching. Generally we’ve found that kids can’t be charged with flossing their own teeth until they’re about ten. To make it easier on you (and them) we recommend the small floss picks. They’re easier for you to maneuver into the back of your child’s mouth and we recommend rinsing and re-using them just as you do your toothbrush. You’ll help save the planet as well as dimes when you’re not throwing out all that plastic.