Oral Hygiene

Oral Hygiene For Children

One of the greatest investments you can make in your child’s life is teaching them proper oral care routines at a young age. By setting a positive example at an early age, your child will understand the importance of taking care of their teeth, as well as prevent oral issues later on. Dr. Thomas Sorenson and the dedicated staff at Elko Dental Specialists want to make sure our patients have the tools to practice and teach strong oral hygiene habits, to maintain healthy teeth throughout their lifetime.

What Brushing Technique Should You Show Your Child?

You should begin using toothpaste to clean your child’s teeth when they are around 2 years of age. Because infants and young children tend to swallow toothpaste, do your best to make sure they spit it out instead. Once they are about 3 years old, you can begin to supervise your child’s brushing, making sure they use a soft-bristled toothbrush and a pea-sized amount of toothpaste.

To start, have your child brush the inside of their teeth first, since this is where plaque and tartar tend to accumulate. They should hold the brush at a 45 degree angle, and proceed moving it in a circular motion to remove food particles from the teeth. After cleaning the inside area, have your child clean the outer surface of their teeth, continuing the back and forth motion along and around the gum line. Before rinsing, they should scrub around their front teeth, tongue, and roof of their mouth.

Be sure to replace your child’s toothbrush when the bristles start to wear down. Generally, they should be replaced every 3-4 months.

When Should They Start Flossing?

It’s recommended that you begin flossing for your child around the age of 4, and they can begin doing it themselves around ages 7-8. Brushing alone doesn’t get rid of the debris in between your teeth and gums, so it’s important to get your child into this nightly routine.

Simply take a small piece of floss from the dispenser and wrap it around your two middle fingers. Then, gently glide the floss between each tooth and along the gum line, removing any food particles. Unwrap clean floss around your fingers as you go, so that you have used the floss from beginning to end.

Diet & Oral Health

Your child’s greatest protection against tooth decay is a healthy and balanced diet. Some general dietary rules to follow include:

  • Incorporate foods rich in calcium and phosphorus, like cheese, yogurt, eggs, almonds, and meat into your family’s diet
  • Avoid foods that are high in starches and sugars, such as cookies, candies, potato chips, and pretzels.
  • Limit snacking between meals, as it increases your risk for plaque buildup.

Not only is it important for your child to maintain a proper diet, but it’s critical for the entire family. Always be weary of what you prepare for you and your family, so you always feel your best.

Contact Your Elko, NV Specialists Today!

If you’re looking for exceptional Elko or Spring Creek NV pediatric dentists, look no further than Elko Dental Specialists! Feel free to give us a call at (775) 753-6118 to learn more about our variety of services or to schedule an appointment. We’re looking forward to serving you and your family soon!