Cleaning and Oral Hygiene Instructions
Proper dental hygiene for kids begins even before they even have teeth. Parents are advised to take a damp piece of cloth or gauze and gently wipe their baby’s gums twice a day. This removes any plaque that has formed and helps ensure that baby teeth will come in healthy. We also recommend that parents limit infant intake of juice and other sugary drinks and never put a baby to sleep with a bottle.
When introducing your baby to dental hygiene, it’s important to be gentle. Use a soft-bristled baby toothbrush and water. Toothpaste should not be used with children under the age of two. When ready, start with a paste that is specifically formulated for toddlers and only use a rice-sized portion.
Even the most conscientious children are likely to miss spots when learning to brush their teeth. That’s why regular dental cleanings for children are critical. We have the tools and skills to remove plaque from those hard to reach spots in your child’s mouth and to identify and treat decay early before it becomes a problem. All kids should visit the dentist for teeth cleaning at least twice a year to keep food deposits and plaque buildup at bay. Children with higher risk of decay can also benefit from fluoride treatments, and sealants are recommended for most children to protect their teeth from harmful bacteria and plaque.
It is important to establish good teeth cleaning techniques early so kids can do their part to maintain great dental health. Our dental team spends time with parents and kids at each visit to teach and reinforce proper brushing and flossing techniques.
Children whose parents get involved in establishing regular brushing routines with their children see more success than those who leave their kids unsupervised. Start by arming your kids with the right tools for the job; age appropriate toothbrushes and toothpaste, dental floss and a timer. Next, help them remember the essentials:
- 2 X 2 – Brush twice a day for two minutes!
- Be sure to brush on the front, back and sides of every tooth
- Floss once a day to reach between the teeth
Teaching kids proper oral hygiene is a partnership between parents and their dental providers. We encourage parents to monitor their kids brushing and to find ways to make it fun. Having trouble getting your kids to brush? Take some tips from the pros:
- Keep a two-minute timer next to the sink so kids “go the distance” with their brushing
- Purchase great-tasting, kid-friendly toothpaste
- Consider a battery-operated toothbrush – some even have fun characters and music
- Find a favorite 2-minute brushing song
- Make it a family affair; brush along with your kids
- Download one of the many online brushing games to your phone
The more fun you make it, the more your kids will brush – get creative!