Encouraging Healthy Oral Hygiene for your Children
Every parent knows how difficult it can be to get kids to brush their teeth daily. In fact, this process should ideally be assisted by parents up until around 8 years of age when children develop the dexterity necessary to perform a thorough cleaning on their own. It is, however, important to instil a sense of responsibility for oral health at an early age, as this will set your child up for a healthy future and a bright smile that will last a lifetime. In this blog post, Sparkling Dental will be sharing some helpful tips for parents seeking to encourage healthy oral hygiene to their kids. Make the brushing experience more enjoyable and for all involved by trying the following.
Give Your Child the Opportunity to Choose Their Toothpaste
Children can be fussy, and by giving children the opportunity to choose their own toothpaste you will be giving them some independence and control which they will appreciate. There is no shortage of toothpaste on the market, all of which have different tastes and colours. By choosing their own toothpaste, your child will be more excited to brush their teeth.
There is a wide range of children’s toothpastes designed for different ages. Make sure that the toothpaste your child selects does not contain sugar. It is important for parents to buy a brand that has the right amount of fluoride for their child (expressed as ppm- parts per million of fluoride). Read the ingredients on the package of the toothpaste tubes and you will realise that there is a huge difference in the amount of fluoride between different brands. Fluoride in children’s toothpastes vary from 500 to 1450ppm while adult toothpastes vary from 1000 to 1450ppm.
Choose products that bear the Seal of Approval from the Australian Dental Association (ADA). Products bearing the Seal are tested by a team of expert dentists to ensure they work exactly as the manufacturer says they do.
Currently the list includes:
Colgate Oral Care Colgate Total
Colgate Total Mint Stripe
Colgate Fluoriguard Sparkling Mint Gel (currently Minions)
Colgate Fluoriguard Sparkling Mint Gel (currently Peppa Pig)
My First Colgate
Colgate Total Advanced Whitening
Colgate Total Advanced Fresh
Colgate Total Advanced Clean
Colgate Sensitive Fresh Stripe
Colgate Sensitive Whitening
Colgate Sensitive Multi Protection
Barros Laboratories White Glo Toothpaste Professional
GlaxoSmithKline Macleans Milk Teeth
Solent Coles Total Care
How much toothpaste to use
A smear of toothpaste is enough for kids under three; a pea-sized amount is right for three to seven-year-olds, while anyone older should just use a ribbon of paste along the brush. You should brush a child’s teeth for two minutes twice a day and get them to spit and rinse. At night, don’t let them eat or drink after brushing. This allows the fluoride to strengthen the teeth overnight.
Let Them Pick a Cool Toothbrush
Children love colour, and since toothbrushes need to be changed every 3 months they will find a lot of excitement in picking out a new one. Your child will start to look forward to the occasion, and there is a toothbrush to suit all personalities. Choose from animal shaped toothbrushes, cartoon characters or a simple soft bristle toothbrush in a cool colour. Dentists recommend that children use softer bristled brushes, as medium and firm bristles are too aggressive for children’s mouths.
Make sure the toothbrush is capable of reaching to all parts of your child’s mouth, without missing any spots. It is usually best for toddlers to start with a small brush head with soft bristles, and as their mouth and teeth develop you can increase the size of their toothbrush.
Set a Schedule for Brushing and Flossing
Try to get your child into the habit of brushing and flossing at a set time each day, as this will help to reinforce the importance of oral hygiene in their daily routine. You may even wish to brush and floss alongside your child, and this way you can provide pointers and ensure they do a thorough job by brushing in hard to reach places.
Make Brushing Fun with Music
Children love music, and by playing their favourite songs for a set time you can help to make the brushing process more fun for them. Set their favourite song to play for about two minutes, and consider offering a reward for sticking to the schedule and performing a thorough clean twice daily.
Book an Appointment with Sparkling Dental Today
Been a while since your last check-up, or are you looking for a new family dentist? Sparkling Dental would love to welcome you as a patient. Please contact our front desk on (02) 9953 0088 to schedule an appointment today.