Many parents often wonder when it’s the best time to teach their children how to brush their teeth. Some parents are under the misconception that young children with baby teeth don’t need to brush. To avoid tooth decay and serious dental problems, dentists recommend that parents start brushing children’s teeth as soon as possible.
The Best Practices for Brushing Toddler’s Teeth
According to WebMD, parents are encouraged to gently brush a baby’s gums with water. When a toddler’s teeth begin to come in, parents should use a baby toothbrush (which has very soft bristles) and a small amount of fluoridated tooth paste.
How Long Should Parents Brush Their Children’s Teeth?
Toddlers and very young children should not be expected to brush their own teeth (especially without supervision.) Children should be able to start brushing on their own once they’ve learned how to tie their own shoes. However, it’s still important to keep an eye on your child to make sure they are brushing thoroughly and effectively.
Flossing Is Just As Important As Brushing
Getting children into the habit of flossing is a good idea, even if your child still has baby teeth coming in. Flossing early and often prevents food particles from getting stuck between teeth, which can lead to cavities. This step in oral hygiene will probably take your child a little longer to master.
Using Dental Sealants To Prevent Tooth Decay In Young Children
Parents of young children whose molars have recently come in may want to consider using dental sealants to avoid cavities. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, sealants coat parts of the teeth – usually the molars – and keeps bacteria from growing within the pockets of the tooth. Sealants typically have a duration of up to ten years.