Dental Care for Infants & Children
Oral care for your child
Brushing Infant's Teeth
Parents need to play an essential part from the beginning, doing it for the little one in the first years.
Later in life, when children start brushing on their own, it is a parent's responsibility to make sure they do it correctly and doing it as often as they should until good habits develop.
New parents often ask, when is a good time to start brushing their baby's teeth. The answer is, as soon as possible. Make sure you start brushing your baby's gums before teeth erupt. It means you should be cleaning your baby's mouth before they have teeth.
Steps to Brushing Infant's Teeth
1. Make sure your baby lies in a comfortable position in front of you or on your lap
2. Align your baby so that you can see in the mouth.
3. You can use either a soft baby toothbrush or wrap your finger in a damp washcloth or a piece of gauze. You need to wipe or brush all parts of the new teeth and gums.
4. DO NOT use toothpaste until your child has teeth.
Although there may be some fussing when you begin, your child will soon get used to this daily routine.
Brushing with a toothbrush
a) Make sure your toothbrush is at 45-degree angle to the teeth. Start where gums and teeth meet.
b) Do it in gentle circles; DO NOT SCRUB. For the front teeth - use the "toe" (front) part of the brush. The key is to do it gently.
Toothbrush for Your Child
When it comes to toothbrushes, there are many choices on the market. For infants and children, the best kind of toothbrush to start with is a soft, rounded bristle toothbrush. Also, make sure the toothbrush is the right size for your child.
You should change the toothbrush at least every 3-4 months because bristles wear out. Children can be tough on toothbrushes and a worn out toothbrush may hurt your child's gums.
You can start using an electric toothbrush around three (3) years of age. Make sure you get a toothbrush appropriate for the age of your child. Today, toothbrushes for kids look very creative, with cartoon characters and bright colours; pick up the one your child likes.
Toothpaste for Kids
Just like toothbrushes, choices are abundant when it comes to toothpaste for kids. If you want to find a tube of toothpaste that contains fluoride, look for the Canadian Dental Association symbol.
Use a small amount (half a pea size) of toothpaste when brushing your child's teeth and make sure they spit it out after brushing.
Brushing children's Teeth
Children under the age of three (3) should have their teeth brushed by an adult. Usually, we recommend that until your child has a manual ability to tie their shoelaces, you need to brush their teeth for them.
Children from three to six years of age should be supervised by their parents when brushing and flossing. Make brushing and flossing a family routine, brush your teeth together! Put on a Youtube video with a "brushing song" and play a game for two (2) minutes; use 30 seconds per quadrant: upper right, upper left, lower left, lower right: and you have completed the circle! Now the whole family will be "sugar bug" free.
Should My Child Brush Their Teeth Before Bed?
Brushing twice a day is important for your child. Brushing before bed gets rid of harmful bacteria which accumulates through the day. What else stays in your child's mouth? Sugar, which is food for bacteria that causes cavities. Brushing and flossing helps to remove bacteria. Brushing before bed encourages good oral health habits.
Flossing with Children
Flossing is an essential part of oral health. The sooner you introduce it - the better!
A baby flosser is a great starting tool for parents. Children flossers are easier to use, look more appealing to children and will make this task much more relaxing for both parents and children. Once children get comfortable with them they can graduate to regular floss.
Follow these easy steps
Take a long piece of floss, approximately the length of your child's arm.
Wrap both sides of floss on your middle fingers leaving a 2-inch gap and use index fingers to guide it.
Slide the floss between the teeth and, starting from the base of the tooth, form a "half moon or C" shape.
Slide the floss up and down at least 2 or 3 times on each side of the tooth. As you move from tooth to tooth, move to a new part of the floss.
Repeat for each side of the upper and bottom teeth and remember the back side of the last molars.