December 14th is International Children’s Day. In honor of this day, we’re breaking down some of the best ways to help kids learn good oral health habits. As a parent you may have a lot of questions about how much dental care kids need. Here are answers for keeping young teeth clean and healthy:
- When should dental care start? Dental hygiene should start even before the first tooth comes in. Gently run a damp washcloth over baby’s gums to clear away any plaque, germs and bacteria.
- When should I start brushing their teeth? Start brushing as soon as teeth appear using an infant toothbrush and a tiny bit of toothpaste, about the size of a grain of rice, twice a day.
- When should kids have their first dental appointment? They should have their first dental appointment before their 1st birthday.
- When should kids start brushing their teeth on their own? Usually by the age of two to three most kids should be able to start brushing their teeth, using a pea-sized amount of toothpaste under adult supervision. Make sure they brush twice a day, morning and night, for two full minutes. Brushing your own teeth with your kids can set a good example.
- When should kids start flossing? Daily flossing should begin as soon as they have two teeth that are touching.
Tips for making brushing fun:
- Let them pick a toothbrush featuring their favorite character.
- Find a 2-minute long song they can brush their teeth to.
- Reward them with a gold star or other incentive for each brushing.