The best pediatric dentists believe oral hygiene is essential from the moment your baby is born, even before their first tooth comes in, to ensure a healthy mouth throughout adulthood. Your child’s teeth cleaning needs will change depending on their age, so know how to adjust your routine as they grow. Dentistry for Kids provides a guide below that will help you and your child keep that cheeky smile healthy.
A Teeth Cleaning Guide for Growing Children
1. 0-2 Years
Infants’ gums should be gently massaged with a damp washcloth after feedings to prevent the growth of bacteria. Once the first tooth appears (between 6 and 14 months of age), you can purchase a soft child-sized toothbrush to brush their teeth. Do not use toothpaste; use only water. Sing and smile and praise while you brush their teeth, so they’ll become accustomed to it and may come to enjoy it. You should take your child in for their first dental visit when their first tooth comes in or by their first birthday, whichever comes first.
2. 2-7 Years
Once your child turns two, you can start using a grain of rice sized amount of fluoride toothpaste as you brush. Teach them to spit it out rather than swallowing it. Once they turn three, start using a pea-sized amount of toothpaste. They should brush after breakfast and before bed. They should brush for two to three minutes and change out their toothbrush every three months.
Start flossing as soon as there are two adjacent teeth. Once their back molars come in, talk to your children’s dentist about sealants. These will help protect against cavities, as the grooves in the back molars are the most susceptible to bacteria and decay.
3. 7+ Years
Once your child turns seven, they should be able to start brushing and flossing on their own. Keep reminding them to brush twice a day, as they can forget or will choose to skip it without a push from you. Keep visiting the pediatric dentist every six months or on the schedule that your child’s dentist recommends.
The team at Dentistry for Kids is dedicated to providing attentive care that will get your children excited about teeth cleaning and oral hygiene. Their Pearl City office serves patients across Oahu and they have built a reputation as some of the best pediatric dentists on the island. Learn more about them on their website and call (808) 486-8881 to schedule an appointment for your child.