The following is by contributor Vanessa Brown of I Never Grew Up.
Understanding a bit about kid’s dental hygiene and establishing a good routine with your kids and teeth brushing really is setting yourself up for success.
From a Children’s Dentist Perspective
Recently I interviewed Dr. David M. Stewart of Little People’s Dental in South Jordan, Utah on establishing a good tooth brushing routine and here is what I learned:
- Studies tell us that brushing twice a day with a fluoride toothpaste can decrease the risk of tooth decay. Flossing daily can decrease the risk of periodontal disease and dental decay in between teeth.
- Children do not have the dexterity to brush and floss well until around seven to nine years of age. At least once a day a parent should lay a child back and brush and floss their teeth as perfectly as they can, and then allow the child to brush at least one other time of the day.
- For a more detailed how to and video on this you can watch Dr. Stewart go over the routine here: http://littlepeoplesdental.com/care-treatment/brushing-flossing/
- Until the child is older the parent should “dose” the toothpaste for the child. A rice grain amount until they are six years of age and a small pea sized amount of toothpaste after that.
Tooth Brushing Station
In my home I simply have a drawer with small baskets in it and each of my girl’s have their very own toothbrush, toothpaste and floss. They are very involved at the store in picking out all of their “supplies” which makes them excited to use them at home.
We also have a radio nearby and we dance around sometimes while brushing our teeth, or I will tell them a silly story and sometimes we even tell knock knock jokes.
Our dentist also provided us with a “sand timer” like you can find in different board games to help the girls brush their teeth for a longer amount of time.
What do you do in your home to make the tooth brushing routine work for you and your kids?