Caring for Your Child’s Teeth Through Elementary School
Since tooth decay can affect your child’s teeth even at the young age of 1, setting a good example for your children by teaching them how to brush their teeth properly is important! No matter the age, brushing twice a day for two minutes each time and flossing once are vital for healthy teeth.
Under Three Years Old
Even before your child’s teeth erupt, cleaning the gums keeps them healthy and is a great way to prepare for baby teeth to arrive. You can do this with a clean cloth, gauze or your finger. As soon as a tooth emerges from the gums, however, you should start brushing your child’s teeth using an infant sized soft-bristle brush. At this stage, AAPD recommends using a very small (rice-sized) amount of toothpaste containing fluoride in children under three years of age as soon as their first tooth emerges. Only use fluoride toothpaste if your child can spit.
The AAPD recommends for children age three to six to brush with a pea-sized amount of fluoride toothpaste. When you feel that your child is ready, start introducing them to brushing on their own. Alternate between brushing their teeth and having them assist you to brush their teeth. This way, they can learn how to brush their teeth properly and you can serve as a role model for great dental habits.
By the time your child is 6 or 7, they may be able to brush their teeth independently, with adult supervision. Supervising your children during their brushing and flossing ensures that you child is brushing their teeth effectively and for the right amount of time.
By the time your child reaches nine to ten years of age, many of their adult teeth have grown in, replacing their “baby” teeth. At this point, they can use an adult toothbrush with adult toothpaste. Make sure they brush their teeth two times a day, once in the morning and once before bedtime, and floss to keep that tooth decay at bay!
Make sure to replace your toothbrush every three months, after an illness, or when the bristles fray. Give Chesapeake Pediatric Dental Group a call at Perry Hall / White Marsh Phone Number 410-248-3384 to learn more about keeping your child’s teeth healthy.
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