Everyone knows that brushing your teeth is important We are told from a young age that we should brush after every meal, making sure to brush all our teeth from the very front teeth to the very back molars. Over the years we are supposed to integrate other steps into the daily dental routine such as dental floss and mouthwash. But when it is the right time to teach children these steps? How old do they need to be before they are allowed to use dental floss and mouthwash as both can be dangerous for young children. To answer all your questions, we have collected information from the top dentists on how to best train your children on proper dental care skills that will last them a lifetime.
The first step of dental care that can be carried out by young children is brushing their teeth. According to a dentist out of San Francisco, the best age to begin letting your child use their own toothbrush is about the age of two. At this age, it is important for parents to show their children how to put toothpaste on the brush, and how to hold the brush. Demonstrate the correct amount of toothpaste they should be using. For children ages two to five, only a pea sized amount of children specific toothpaste should be used. It is important to note that toothpaste meant for adults have many chemicals that can be too strong for a child if they happen to ingest them. Parents can show their children how to brush by guiding their hand with the correct motions while the child holds the toothbrush. As the child gets older and more experiences with holding and controlling the toothbrush, the parent can slowly allow them to man the brush on their own.
While teaching a child to brush on their own at the age of two may seem very early, a dentist out of Colorado encourages parents to begin instilling dental care habits in their children as early as possible. She shares, “We often see parents in our office that are not worried about their children mastering brushing because they feel that keeping the child’s baby teeth in perfect condition is not that important. Unfortunately, this is not the case. Caring for baby teeth correctly is very important. The health of a child’s baby teeth can affect the health of their permanent teeth. By protecting the health of baby teeth, procedures like dental implants later in your child’s life can be avoided.”
Another step parents should take is scheduling regular dental appointments for their children. This establishes the routine of making dental visits even when there is nothing wrong with your teeth. A dentist hailing from Arizona explained that many times patients wait until they are feeling discomfort or chronic pain before they come in to see the dentist. He continues, “At this point, the patient often needs more extensive work than would have been needed if they had simply made a habit of coming in once a year or so to check on the overall condition of their teeth.” Making regular appointments for your children is especially important during the teenage years as this is when early detection of wisdom tooth development can make for the easiest of wisdom teeth removal procedures. The dentist from Arizona reaffirms, “If your child sees that you prioritize regular dental visits, they are more likely to carry this habit with them into adulthood.”