All the teeth should be brushed, and not just those in the front. If children can think of their mouths as having four parts or quadrants, it makes it easier to cover all of them. Spend 30 seconds brushing each section of the mouth, beginning at the back and working toward the front, front and back of each section, gums and teeth, for a total of two minutes of brushing altogether.
Angle the brush 45 degrees toward the gums from the upper and lower teeth. Move the brush back and forth using short strokes along teeth and gums, making sure to cover all the teeth and gums, front and back. Make sure the tip of the brush is upright when brushing behind the front teeth, both top and bottom.
The bacteria in children’s mouths don’t just cause cavities. They also attack children’s gums. If kids don’t brush to remove the bacteria-filled plaque in their mouths, they may end up with gingivitis (jin-ja-VIE-tis), or gum disease. Gum disease not only looks and feels bad, giving children sore, swollen, red gums, but can also cause tooth loss. Gums, after all, are the tissues that hold and support the teeth inside the mouth.
Children should brush their teeth twice a day, after eating breakfast and again before bed. It doesn’t hurt to brush after lunch and after having a snack, too. It is brushing the teeth that removes plaque from children’s teeth, keeping them and their gums healthy.
Floss your child’s teeth as soon as there are two teeth that touch. Do this once a day. Slip the floss between the teeth to remove food that gets trapped between the teeth, where a toothbrush cannot reach.
To floss, take a strand of floss between thumb and index finger, wrapping the floss around a finger at each end of the strand for good control. Insert the floss gently and carve it around each tooth, sliding it up and down along the insides of the teeth and just below the gum line. Use a new section of the floss for each two teeth, so as not to transfer plaque from one tooth to the next.
Even when children do a great job brushing and flossing, it’s important to have their teeth cleaned by a dental hygienistor dentist twice a year. A professional cleaning gets the plaque we might miss, even with the best of efforts. The dentist or hygienist can also give children tips on better techniques to use when they brush their teeth.
Your little ones deserve the best and most comprehensive dental care. We are always accepting new patients and ready to give each child a reason to smile! To schedule an appointment at our office, give us a call at (520) 316-6111, or fill out the appointment request form here.