Practicing good cleaning techniques at a young age is the best way to ensure your child’s has a healthy and beautiful smile in the future. Good oral hygiene practices begin at a young age, and can influence our cleaning habits well into adulthood. Take this test to learn more about achieving your optimal oral health for your child.
- True or false: The best time to start cleaning your child’s teeth is when the first tooth appears?
True! Each tooth your child grows should be maintained as soon as it is visible. In babies, you can use an extra soft tooth brush, without toothpaste, or a damp cloth, to gently rub the small tooth. By doing this, you’re not only keeping the teeth clean but getting your baby used to having their teeth cleaned.
- True or false: You should brush your child’s teeth with fluoride toothpaste?
False! Due to the tendency of young children to swallow their toothpaste, it is not advised to use a fluoride toothpaste until they are old enough to spit out every time they’re teeth are brushed. This generally occurs around two or three years old. Although fluoride is excellent at reducing decay and sensitivity, it should not be consumed on a regular basis. It is also a good idea to keep any oral products containing fluoride out of your child’s reach to prevent them from discovering fluoride on their own.
- True or false: The toothpaste should cover the entire top surface of the toothbrush?
False! Only a pea-sized amount is necessary for an optimal clean.
- True or false: Sucking can cause permanent damage to your child’s teeth?
True! Although a natural reflex in babies, Children who continue to suck on either their thumb or a dummy beyond the ages of 2 – 4 run the risk of developing crooked teeth, which can cause speech defects and often requires braces to repair the damage. To help your child stop the habit, you can gently encourage your child by introducing a reward system. Punishment is not an effective method to prevent sucking. If you are concerned about your child’s sucking, come in and see us for a consultation.
- True or false: You should encourage your child to brush their own teeth twice a day?
False! Until your child is old enough to properly brush their own teeth, it is important for parents to brush their child’s teeth for them. Under the age of six or seven, Children do not have the motor skills nor the co-ordination to effectively clean their teeth to prevent decay or gum disease. Likewise, two minutes can be a long time for a young child to retain their concentration whilst brushing. Once you decide your child is able to efficiently brush their own teeth, it is still a good idea to help with the cleaning in the evenings, to guarantee that all food debris removed before your child goes to sleep to help prevent any damage to the teeth.
- True or false: You shouldn’t put your baby to bed with a bottle?
True! “Baby bottle syndrome” is a term used to describe the damage this behaviour can cause to your baby’s teeth, such as extensive decay. When a baby falls asleep with formula (which is often sweetened) coating their teeth, the bacteria is unrestricted in attacking the teeth, and causing painful and unsightly cavities. These cavities can be difficult to fix at such a young age.
- True or false: Tooth decay can be caused by hard candies, sugared gum and sugary soft drinks?
True! Sugar in the mouth is one of the main causes of decay in children. In fact, the longer the sugar is present, the more the harmful bacteria can grow and attack the teeth. Such activites as sucking on candies or sipping soft drink create a “sugar bath” on the teeth and greatly detracts from your child’s dental health. If your child does consume sugary foods or drinks, it is best to have them rinse their mouth or brush afterwards to remove this sugary coating.
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