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A Parent’s Primer on Proper Dental Care for Kids

Aug 25, 2015 - 10:08 AM EST |  Posted under: General, Pediatric Dentistry

You want your child to have a healthy smile they feel confident about, so you need to start healthy habits at a very early age. Pediatric dentists recommend that you learn how to start a good dental care routine that will keep your child healthy and happy with their smile.

Tips on Tooth Eruption

For most children, their first tooth emerges between 6 and 9 months of age, with the rest coming in by age 3. You need to regularly check your child’s mouth for signs of new teeth. If your child’s first tooth has not erupted within 9 months, you need to make an appointment with their pediatrician. Regardless of their number of teeth, dental experts recommend taking children to pediatric dentists no later than their first birthday to check on their dental development. Then, continue taking your child to visit a kid’s dentist for cleanings and check-ups twice a year.

Helpful Hints for Better Brushing

Between birth and their first birthday, it’s important to gently clean your baby’s gums with a soft washcloth or gauze pad after breakfast, following feedings, and before bedtime. As soon as their first teeth come in, start brushing them with a baby toothbrush and cool water. Then between the ages 1 and 2, pediatric dentists advise advancing to a child-sized toothbrush and a pea-sized amount of toothpaste. Ask your kid’s dentist to show you and your child the best way to brush and then supervise them every time. In general, experts suggest following these brushing basics to ensure healthy dental care for kids:

  • Point the toothbrush at a 45-degree angle to their gums.
  • Gently brush with a back-and-forth motion.
  • Make sure that the brush cleans every surface of each tooth.
  • Tilt the toothbrush vertically and use an up-and-down motion to clean the inner surfaces of their front teeth.
  • Finish by brushing their tongue to remove any excess debris and bacteria.

Facts on Flossing

Most parents know that brushing is a must, but flossing is also an important part of good dental hygiene for kids. You should start flossing your child’s teeth as soon as two of their teeth touch, which generally occurs when they’re 2 years old. Since most children don’t have the manual dexterity to floss their own teeth until they’re around 9 years old, you need to floss your child’s teeth at least once a day to remove any trapped food particles that can cause decay. Use these simple steps to floss your child’s teeth:

  • Cut approximately 18 inches of floss.
  • Twist one end of the floss around one middle finger and the remainder around the other middle finger.
  • Tightly grip the floss between your forefingers and thumbs.
  • Gently press the floss against the side of the tooth, using an up-and-down motion to clean it.
  • Then, curve the floss into a C shape to clean beneath the gum line.
  • Repeat on both sides of every tooth.
  • To help your child learn to floss, consider getting them a floss holder to make flossing much easier. You can ask your kid’s dentist to help your child with proper flossing techniques.

Follow these dental care directions to give your child a head start on a healthy smile for life.

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“The last time my son had seen a dentist was about three years ago because he refused to go to another one until now due to bad experiences. We got lucky picking Main Street Dental! I was so impressed with the office. The office is very opened and parents are welcomed back with the children. I absolutely loved our dental assistant.. She was very informative and explained everything to my son before she did anything. She was amazingly patient and kind the entire visit. She took xray and cleaned his teeth and explained to him what the dentist Dr. B would be doing. She stayed with us the entire time even while the dentist was in the room. The dentist was also very informative and nice and answered any questions I had. They also explained how my son’s next visit was going to be (he has to get fillings). The entire visit was only an hour long. Huge thumbs up to Main Street Dental of Cape Coral! I have been and will gladly still recommend them for pediatric dentistry!!!!!”

– Chelsea M.
What Our Patients Say About Us

“The last time my son had seen a dentist was about three years ago because he refused to go to another one until now due to bad experiences. We got lucky picking Main Street Dental! I was so impressed with the office. The office is very opened and parents are welcomed back with the children. I absolutely loved our dental assistant.. She was very informative and explained everything to my son before she did anything. She was amazingly patient and kind the entire visit. She took xray and cleaned his teeth and explained to him what the dentist Dr. B would be doing. She stayed with us the entire time even while the dentist was in the room. The dentist was also very informative and nice and answered any questions I had. They also explained how my son’s next visit was going to be (he has to get fillings). The entire visit was only an hour long. Huge thumbs up to Main Street Dental of Cape Coral! I have been and will gladly still recommend them for pediatric dentistry!!!!!”

– Chelsea M.