Tooth decay is the most common chronic childhood disease, and children lose millions of school hours every year because of dental-related issues.
That’s why it’s so important that children brush twice a day for at least two minutes, using a cavity protection toothpaste. Brush your teeth alongside your child -- it’s fun for them to “copy” you, and you’re setting a great example for them.
Teach them how to brush the outer surface of their teeth along the gum line, using a gentle circular motion, and brush the chewing surfaces. Then show them how to brush the insides of their front teeth by holding the brush vertically, and using short up-and-down strokes.
If your child is fussy during brushing time, remember that distraction often works wonders with little ones. Try to make it more fun by singing a song while they brush, or reciting their favourite nursery rhyme.
Kids should floss once a day to remove plaque and food particles from between their teeth and below the gumline. If they brush regularly but skip the floss, they’re actually missing as much as 30% of the tooth surface.
Younger children often struggle with flossing the traditional way, so pick up some plastic-handled flossing devices for them to try. Their little fingers can grasp them more easily, and if they know they can do it, they’ll be more encouraged to do it daily. You can even buy special flossers for kids that have their favourite characters on them!
Your child might seem like they’re doing an OK job of brushing, but children don’t usually have the manual dexterity to brush their own teeth properly until they are nine or 10 years old. Encourage their independence by letting them brush and floss first, and then doing it again yourself -- telling them you’re “just getting those few tough spots!”
If you have any questions about kids brushing and flossing, give us a call! We’d be happy to help!