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Tips for Brushing and Flossing

Man brushing his teeth in the mirrorTooth brushing is an important and simple task in proper dental care. However, most children do not properly brush their teeth. Our team at OHIOSmiles can help you teach your child proper tooth brushing practices. Good brushing practices taught at a young age will benefit your child for their entire life.

This information will address all aspects of pediatric dental care. Our team will discuss what type of toothbrush and toothpaste your child needs, depending on their age level. We will also review the frequency and duration of proper brushing and flossing practices and any additional preventative care that you should practice with your child.

What Toothbrush and Toothpaste Should I Buy?

It is important to purchase an age-appropriate toothbrush for your child. This will vary based on your child’s age. When purchasing a toothbrush for an infant, you should make sure that it includes a small brush head and soft bristles. It should also have a large handle to reduce the risk of choking.

If your child is slightly older, it is beneficial to allow them to provide input in picking out their toothbrush. Again, this toothbrush will have a small brush head and be soft so as to not irritate your child’s gums. Allowing them to choose an age-appropriate toothbrush that includes their favorite cartoon character can help make brushing a more enjoyable experience for them.

The type of toothpaste will also change as your child grows. Fluoride toothpaste is typically recommended for most children because it is very effective at cavity prevention. Our team will review this information with you during your visit and assist you in selecting the best type of toothpaste for your child’s age and needs.

How Often Should My Child Brush?

As is recommended for adults, your child should brush their teeth twice per day. Both brushing sessions are vital for good oral hygiene and the prevention of tooth decay. Brushing only once per day will allow for the accumulation of bacteria and plaque, possibly causing damage to your child’s teeth.

The American Dental Association (ADA) recommends that everyone brush for at least two minutes every time that they brush their teeth. This involves spending 30 seconds brushing each quadrant of your teeth. Ensuring that your child not only brushes twice daily but spends an adequate amount of time brushing is a key component of good oral hygiene. You could utilize a timer, clock, or even sign or listen to a song to help your child keep track of the time while brushing.

What Else Do They Need For Good Dental Hygiene?

In addition to two brushing sessions per day, your child should also floss their teeth. In order to practice good oral hygiene habits, you can start flossing their teeth as soon as they have adjacent teeth that are touching. There are different types of dental floss and flossers available. Help your child find a style and tool that will best work for them. If you start these practices early in your child’s life, they will be accustomed to a good dental routine.

Our dental professionals may also recommend that your child use mouthwash once per day. This will be based on your child’s age and specific dental needs. Our team at OHIOSmiles will guide you and your child to great brushing, flossing, and other dental care practices for a lifetime of bright smiles. Contact us at today.
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