It goes without saying that parents want the best for their children, but when it comes to dental care at home, it’s often hard to know how much is too soon. Many young parents wonder how to even get started developing good habits and your pediatric dentist is the best place to turn for advice.
When can my child brush and floss their own teeth?
To clean your baby or child’s teeth, we recommend a soft, age-appropriate sized toothbrush be used at least twice a day, especially at bedtime. When it comes to flossing, most young children lack the proper manual dexterity to floss on their own. For flossing, a child should receive a parent’s help until the age of 10. Most children will need a parent’s help and supervision for brushing until about the time he or she is able to tie their own shoes.
What’s the best toothpaste for my child?
All of the ADA approved toothpastes have been tested for their safety. Less than 2 years of age use a “smear” of toothpaste. 2 years of age and older, use a “pea-size” amount of toothpaste. Young children do not have the ability to brush their teeth effectively. Children should have help and excess toothpaste should be wiped off or spit out.
But I heard Fluoride is toxic!
Using small amounts of fluoride on a routine basis is crucial to develop healthy teeth and to help prevent tooth decay. In “smear” and “pea-sized” amounts, ingested fluoride levels are minimized. If excess fluoride is ingested, fluorosis, or white staining of the teeth, can occur. Analysis of fluoride content in drinking water must be considered.
We proudly see happy smiles throughout the Central Massachusetts towns of Acton, Ayer, Dunstable, Groton, Harvard, Littleton, Lunenberg, Pepperell, Shirley,Townsend, Westford and Southern New Hampshire towns of Brookline and Hollis. Contact us with your questions.