We all know how important brushing is for maintaining dental health. For kids, it’s super important that you teach them to brush and maintain their dental health properly so that they have a basis for dental health and so they form good oral hygiene habits. Here’s how you can teach your kids to brush and floss properly.
When are kids ready to brush on their own?
Generally speaking, at around age five or six, kids are capable of brushing their own teeth (with some supervision and enforcement, of course). You’ll definitely want to look over their work occasionally, to make sure they aren’t missing any areas of their mouth.
What’s the proper brushing technique?
- Apply a pea-size amount of toothpaste to the toothbrush
- At a 45-degree angle towards the gums, brush the teeth in short strokes with a back and forth motion. Do this for the upper and lower teeth on both sides of the mouth, on the interior (tongue side) and exterior (cheek side) of the teeth.
- Brush behind the bottom and top front teeth.
- Brush the tongue.
In general, your child should spend at least two minutes brushing his or her teeth. Setting a timer or having your children brush for the duration of a favorite song is a good way of ensuring they brush their teeth for the recommended amount of time (and it’s a tactic we adults could probably benefit from, too!).
Also, make sure your kids get in the habit of brushing twice per day. If you’re concerned that they are not getting all the surfaces of their teeth, there are fun and kid-friendly mouthwashes that will show where plaque and debris are present on the teeth, so they can re-brush those areas.
When should kids start flossing?
As soon as teeth start touching, flossing should happen. Five or six might be a little young for kids to floss on their own, and so this may need to start later. However, there are kid-friendly flossing products (hello, dino flossers!) that can make the job easier and more enjoyable.
What’s the proper flossing technique?
- Hold a short piece of a length of floss between the forefinger and thumb (if using conventional floss).
- Insert the floss, without too much pressure, between two teeth.
- Hold the floss in a C-shape around the side of one of the teeth and run it up and down the side of the teeth and under the tooth at the gumline.
- Repeat, using a new section of floss for each, for each side of each tooth.
Regular dental checkups are just as important as teaching your kids to brush the right way. If it’s time for their six-month checkups, make an appointment with Mogren Dental today!