Should children brush their teeth and floss? Yes, oral hygiene should start early. Caring for your children's teeth and gums should be a priority. Teaching your children to care for their teeth will eliminate tooth decay and gum disease down the road. To promote healthy teeth and gums:
- Do not give your infant or small child a bottle of milk, formual, juice or any product that contains sugar when putting them to bed. The sugar causes tooth decay.
- Encourage your baby to start drinking from a cup around 9 months or shortly thereafter.
- Clean your child's teeth with a gauze pad or soft cloth when they first surface. Once they break through, use a soft toothbrush with water only
- Encourage your child to stop sucking their thumb or fingers. See your dentist if you're unsuccessful.
- Around 1 - 2 years of age a dot of toothpaste may be used on the child's toothbrush. Encourage your child not to swallow the toothpaste and rinse well with water.
- By age 3 or 4, children should be able to brush their own teeth. You should check your children's teeth to ensure proper brushing. Chewable Disclosing Tablets can used to determine if any plaque is on your child's teeth. The Disclosing Tablet will leave a color on the teeth when plaque remains.
- Have your child brush their teeth twice a day.
- Gently floss between your child's teeth until they learn the proper technique.
- Schedule regular dental check-ups for your child as early as 2 years of age. (Make sure your dentist and hygientist work well with children).
- Be an example, brush and floss regularly and maintain regular dental appointments.
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