Oral Hygiene & Cleaning
When children visit Smile Town Dentistry in Langley for regular appointments, our dental hygiene team will teach them how to effectively care for their teeth at home.
Professional Check Ups & Cleanings
According to the Canadian Dental Association, children should visit the dentist for the first time either by the time they turn one year old, or within 6 months after the first tooth has emerged.
After that, children (and adults!) should visit the dentist twice a year for regular check ups and cleanings, and for any additional treatment that may be necessary.
Visiting the dentist frequently and from an early age will help in identifying and preventing potential dental problems before they develop.
Easily the most valuable step you can take for your children's oral health is to get them into a regular brushing and flossing routine at home.
When your child's teeth start emerging, you can start to clean them gently with a soft cloth and some of water. As your child gets older (3+), you can introduce a toothbrush and a tiny dab of tooth paste into the equation.
When your child is around 7 years old, you can start to teach him or her to brush independently, with careful supervision, initially, to ensure that they're being thorough and cleaning each tooth, and that they don't swallow the toothpaste.
Good brushing technique is integral to good oral health.
When teaching kids to brush their teeth, make sure that they:
- Brush in small circles, right up against the gum line
- Hold the tooth brush at an angle against the teeth
- Brush slowly and methodically, cleaning each and every tooth
- Brush every surface of every tooth
- Brush the roof of the mouth and the tongue
- Brush for at least 2 minutes
- Rinse away all the toothpaste with water when finished
Children should brush 2 - 3 times a day, just like adults.
Some good times to brush include:
- first thing in the morning
- before bed
- after meals
- after school
In combination with brushing, flossing is the most effective way to ensure that children maintain good oral health. You can begin flossing your child's teeth as soon as there two baby teeth next to one another. The gums may bleed a little bit at first, as your child's mouth adjusts; don't worry about this. Just be as gentle as you can, and use a soft, flexible floss.
Flossing isn't as simple as just running floss between two teeth and calling it a day. When you're teaching children to floss, make sure that they
- Wrap the floss ends around their index fingers, leaving around an inch of floss in between.
- Hold the floss taut, and run it up and down both teeth, all the way down to the gum line, and back up again (this may take a couple of tries if the teeth are very close together).
- Move along the length of the floss as they go, so that a fresh section is used between each pair of teeth.
- Don't forget to floss behind the very back molars, too!
Children should floss at least one time each day. Additional flossing should be done if a piece of food is noticeably lodged between the teeth, or if they have eaten something sugary.
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