Encouraging good oral hygiene habits in your child when they are young helps start them off on the right foot for the rest of their lives. It’s also worth noting that if one of your child’s primary teeth develops a large area of tooth decay it might need to be extracted. Removing the tooth before it naturally falls out on its own, increases the chances alignment issues with their adult teeth.
The ADA and Kaitilin Riley DDS recommend that you start brushing and flossing your child’s teeth as soon as they emerge from their gums. This help to maintain their oral health, and ingrains and early appreciation of the value of good oral hygiene habits, in your child.
Your child can take over brushing their own teeth more and more as their motor skills develop. At first you can let them play at brushing back and forth, while you offer some gentle instruction. Once they are done playing at the act of brushing, you can follow up to make sure all of their teeth have been properly cleaned.
Flossing a child’s teeth, especially their back teeth, can be a little bit challenging. You might need to spool floss around your pinky fingers to reach their molars and other hard to reach parts of their mouth. Your child can start flossing their own teeth as their dexterity improves. Giving them floss stick with wax coated floss is a nice first step.
We are dedicated to helping you instill good oral hygiene habits in your child that will last a lifetime. If you have questions about how or when to introduce your child to brushing flossing, please feel free to call Kaitilin Riley DDS at 805-238-3880 to schedule an appointment.