A child’s well-being is the most important thing to a parent. One of the best things you can do for your child is to teach them to take care of themselves. However, for children, oral health can be a difficult concept to grasp.
Studies show that kids develop their first cavity between the ages of two and eleven. Unfortunately, most kids forget to use the proper brushing techniques or don’t brush at all. That’s where you step in to teach them how to take care of their teeth.
That’s why we’ve compiled this list of the most common teeth cleaning errors in children. Read on to learn the best teeth cleaning routine for improving dental health.
1. Using the Wrong Toothbrush
Kids have delicate gum tissue and sensitive teeth. Using a hard-bristled toothbrush could aggravate their gums and be painful for your child. It could also push your kid’s gums upward, exposing the sensitive tooth below the gum line.
A hard-bristled toothbrush may also chip away at the tooth’s enamel. This makes your kids more prone to tooth decay and other issues.
A soft-bristled toothbrush is enough to remove plaque but gentle on young gums. You also want to get a smaller toothbrush as children have smaller mouths. This ensures that they are comfortable while brushing their teeth.
Electric toothbrushes can be fun but ineffective. It’s best not to give your child an electric toothbrush until they’ve mastered the proper toothbrushing technique.
2. Using the Wrong Toothpaste
Like toothbrushes, not all toothpaste are equal. Pair your child’s toothbrush with the right toothpaste to ensure thorough cleaning. Always choose toothpaste with the ADA seal of acceptance.
This seal proves that the product is effective and safe for kids. While looking for toothpaste for your kids, consider getting products with fun flavors. It could make toothbrushing more fun and encourage your child to take better care of their teeth.
Fluoride is an essential ingredient for toothpaste as it can prevent dental carries. However, too much of anything can be bad, and your child could be using too much toothpaste. Excessive amounts of fluoride can discolor young teeth and destroy the permanent tooth.
Kids should only use a pea-sized amount of toothpaste when brushing their teeth.
3. Not Changing the Toothbrush
When was the last time you changed your child’s toothbrush? Your mouth is full of bacteria, and your toothbrush houses more of them with every use. It’s always best to replace your and your child’s toothbrush after three months.
However, if your child gets sick, replace the toothbrush right away. The infected toothbrush could get your child sick again after days or weeks.
You also want to replace toothbrushes as soon as they show signs of wear and tear. Get a new toothbrush when the bristles start to bend over or fray.
4. Brushing Right After Eating and Rinsing
You may tell your children to brush immediately after eating, so they don’t forget, but this can be a bad practice. Certain drinks and acidic foods can weaken the tooth enamel for a short time. Brushing your teeth in their vulnerable state could result in problems in the future.
It’s best to wait at least an hour after eating before brushing your teeth. This gives the saliva enough time to neutralize the mouth. Instead of brushing right after dinner, you can have your kids brush before sleeping.
In addition, it’s best to avoid gargling after brushing your teeth. Doing this can dilute the fluoride from the toothpaste, which can prevent it from doing its job. Instead of gargling, teach your kids to rinse gently.
5. Not Brushing Your Tongue or Flossing
The human tongue can harbor a lot of bacteria that can be detrimental to your child’s health. It creates a biofilm that can cause bad breath and makes your child vulnerable to dental carries and gum disease. That’s why teaching your child to brush their tongue is essential.
You can also use a tongue scraper instead to prevent gagging. It’s also best to teach your kids how to floss while they’re young.
Toothbrushing tackles most of the plaque on your teeth. However, some are more stubborn or hide between crevices. Flossing removes plaque buildup before it can cause harm.
Standard floss can be too difficult for kids to handle, so opt for a water flosser or a floss stick. Supervise your kids to correct mistakes and prevent them from hurting themselves.
6. Poor Toothbrush Storage
Germs and bacteria thrive in moist environments. That’s why it’s vital to teach your child how to store their toothbrush properly. But, unfortunately, there’s no real way to keep your toothbrush sterile.
Most people keep their toothbrushes in the open, but that could expose your toothbrush to a toilet plume. No one wants traces of fecal matter in their toothbrush! You can avoid this by flushing with the lid closed.
You can also store your toothbrush in a medicine cabinet. Keep your toothbrushes upright, and avoid using a toothbrush cover. You want your toothbrushes to dry out completely between uses, and a toothbrush cover can trap moisture.
7. Using the Wrong Technique
Brushing your teeth side to side is not enough to remove food debris and plaque. The best way to brush your teeth is in a circular motion. This prevents your child from damaging their gum line and tooth enamel.
Teach your child to maintain a 45-degree angle while brushing their teeth. This ensures they get all that gunk on their gum line without hurting the gums.
Common Teeth Cleaning Errors Your Child Needs to Stop Doing
Healthy teeth are essential to a happy life. Teaching your child to avoid these common teeth cleaning errors will help them prevent oral issues in the future. Being a good role model for oral health is a great start, but it also helps to have a great dentist for kids.
Are you concerned about your child’s dental health issues? Capitol Kids Dentistry is your child’s home for a healthy smile. Contact us today!