It doesn’t matter if you’re 2 or 82, good dental hygiene is important at any age. But if you have small children, you should know that their oral health care needs will be somewhat different from your own. Here are some important ways that dental care for kids differs from adult dental care.
– If you can, you should brush after every meal. But anyone with small children knows that getting them to brush at all can be pretty difficult. Instead, parents should just make sure their children’s teeth are brushed at least twice per day—once in the morning, and once at night.
– For infants close to teething age, wipe the gums clean with a damp cloth after feedings. This helps prevent baby bottle tooth decay, which can start as soon as the first tooth pokes through the gum.
– Once a child gets their first tooth, you can begin gently brushing it a couple times per day with a soft-bristled brush. Parents should help kids brush their teeth until about age 6.
– Adults should floss at least once daily, and so should most kids. But it’s a different story for very young children who don’t have all their teeth. Because their teeth are spaced so far apart, food doesn’t get caught between them. Flossing only becomes important when a child’s teeth begin to touch.
– Parents should floss their children’s teeth for them, until around age 8. After that, they are usually able to hold the floss on their own.
– Unless it is recommended by a dentist, children should not use oral rinses until age 6. At this age, they should be able to swish and spit in the sink instead of swallowing the rinse.
– Kids should not use any kind of mouthwash with alcohol in it.
As kids grow, and their teeth change, their dental care needs will change too. If you’re not sure how to best take care of your child’s teeth, ask your dentist or dental hygienist for more advice. A child’s dental health can make a big difference in their overall health, so let’s help them keep those smiles healthy and cavity-free!
If you have questions on products or care for your child’s oral hygiene, check with a Kool Smiles dentist!