Just like adults, kids with clean teeth are significantly less likely to develop oral health problems such as tooth decay, gum disease, tooth shifting, and even systemic illnesses. You know that it is important to get your kids to brush, floss, and see the dentist regularly, but you might not be aware of exactly what schedule to follow. Here is how often kids as well as adults should brush, floss, and have their teeth professionally cleaned.
Ideally, teeth should be brushed after every meal. That’s generally impossible, so aim for at least two brushings per day. Your child’s toothbrush should have soft bristles and comfortably fit her hand and mouth. Each quadrant of the mouth should be brushed for 30 seconds, for a total of two full minutes of brushing time.
Estimating time is notoriously difficult, so consider using a timer. Better yet, consider getting your child an electric toothbrush. Not only are these brushes easier to grip and manipulate, but better models have an alarm that will beep every 30 seconds to tell your child it is time to switch quadrants.
Teach your kids to thoroughly rinse their mouths with plain water if they can’t brush right after eating. They can also stimulate saliva production during the day by chewing unsweetened gum or sucking on sugar-free hard candy.
Kids should floss once per day with dental floss, a plastic or wooden interdental cleaner, or a Waterpik. If you are not sure how to floss properly, ask your dentist or your child’s dentist to demonstrate the correct technique. Make sure your kids are moving slowly, avoiding sharp or sudden motions that could cut the gums.
For most people, the recommended professional cleaning schedule is twice per year. If your child is at high risk for dental disease, we may recommend four cleanings per year. Those who are undergoing certain ongoing oral health treatments may need cleanings even more often. We will let you know if your child needs frequent cleanings due to his unique dental situation.
Keeping a clean and healthy mouth is a lifelong commitment that can help prevent costly and painful dental treatments. Childhood is the right time to teach kids that dental hygiene is just another part of daily life. Set your child on the right road now, and she will be in great shape to maintain her oral health for a lifetime.
Ready to Get Started?
If you’re in New Jersey and ready to start your child’s oral health journey with an experienced, compassionate pediatric dental office, contact Tender Smiles 4 Kids at 732-625-8080 (Freehold), 732-249-1010 (North Brunswick), 732-549-3773 (Edison), or 908-245-5556 (Roselle) to schedule your child’s first appointment.