Here at Dr. Fred Blum & Associates, we know how frustrating it is to try to find the best dental products for your child. Each time you visit a dental aisle in your grocery store, you are bombarded by the endless choices for toothbrushes, mouthwash, and toothpaste.
We want to help you to make this process easier and help your child develop good oral hygiene habits early on.
When choosing dental products for your child, it is important that you consider how old they are. You always want to make sure that you assist your child with brushing and flossing until they can do it effectively on their own.
When do you start brushing your baby’s teeth?
You can begin cleaning your baby’s teeth at 6 months of age. Use a soft cloth to wipe the gums. This will get your child used to the sensation of brushing, and it will remove the harmful bacteria.
At 18 months, you can switch to a soft toothbrush and a pea-size amount of fluoride-free toothpaste.
How to select a toothbrush for your child?
When selecting a toothbrush for your child, it is helpful to use the rule of thumb. The head of the toothbrush should be approximately the size of your child’s thumb. This assures that the toothbrush will be able to clean the hard to reach places.
If your child can tolerate it, a battery-powered toothbrush is a great option. It will help to remove plaque and bacteria much better than a manual toothbrush.
How to choose the right toothpaste for your child?
Toothpaste varies greatly by flavors and by ingredients. When your child is young, you want to choose a flavor that is appealing to them. Children like to brush more if they enjoy the flavor that lingers in their mouth after brushing.
Until your child is able to spit out the toothpaste, make sure that you select a fluoride-free toothpaste that is safe to swallow.
Children develop the ability to spit at around 3, at which point you will want to transition them to using fluoride toothpaste. Fluoride helps to prevent cavities and limits the growth of oral bacteria.
If your child has sensitive teeth, you can use anti-sensitivity toothpaste. It contains potassium nitrate which helps with sensitive teeth.
Always remember to supervise your child to prevent them from swallowing toothpaste
When should your child start flossing their teeth?
Very much like brushing, it is important that your child will develop a habit of flossing at a young age. Flossing will keep your child’s teeth healthy and free from plaque and cavities.
Most children will be able to start flossing between the ages of two and six, or when their teeth start fitting closely together. If your child is on the younger side of this age range, you will need to floss with them until they learn how to properly do it on their own.
Another great option is to use flossers for children. Flossers have different-sized handles to fit all ages and are much easier for children to use.
When is my child ready for mouthwash?
Mouthwash is not recommended for children younger than six.
It can be tricky for younger kids to get used to mouthwash, as it involves swishing the liquid rather than swallowing it like a beverage. Before you introduce mouthwash to your child, you want to make sure to run a simple test to make sure they are ready.
To do that, have your child take a sip of water, swish it around his mouth and then spit it out into the sink. If your child can handle rinsing with water, he is most likely ready to start using mouthwash.
Most of all it is important to create positive experiences for your child, as they get used to new products and techniques. The more your child enjoys their daily routine, the more likely they are to develop good oral hygiene habits as adults.
If you’re still unsure which toothbrush, toothpaste, floss, or mouthwash your child should be using, contact our office. When it comes to helping your children develop healthy oral hygiene habits, Dr. Fred Blum & Associates is always here to help.