Taking care and pride in oral care is something that should start at a young age in an effort to create good habits that last a lifetime. The gums are a direct link to the bloodstream which is why it is important to keep them clean and healthy no matter your age. For children, it is important for parents to wipe the gums down with warm water and a gentle cloth or soft bristled tooth brush each morning and each night. This will not only remove sugar in the mouth from food / drinks and bacteria created by saliva, but it will also establish a routine of care that your child will become used to at an early age. The cells for your child’s primary teeth are already forming before your child is born and after the primary teeth erupt, the permanent teeth begin to form under the gum line. It is important to take care of the gums before teeth erupt, to help prevent any problems with the formation of the teeth.
After the teeth have erupted, it is important to begin brushing and flossing the teeth. Children do not have the dexterity to brush their teeth effectively until about age 7. Until then, it is important as a parent to help them brush their teeth twice a day, for two minutes. Angle the toothbrush toward the gum line and brush in small circular rotations along each surface of the tooth. As your child’s fine motor skills begin to develop, it is natural for them to want to try and brush their teeth on their own. It is important to continue helping them brush to ensure all surface areas have been covered, and then offer to let them try!
It is also important to clean between the teeth by flossing. As soon as there are teeth next to each other, it is a good idea to start flossing. Floss sticks may be a product to try to floss for your child.