Many of you who grew up with Play School might remember this classic:
The “Brush Your Teeth” Song
So let's get serious and talk about pre-schoolers and dental hygiene!
Arriving in any order, baby teeth generally start with the central bottom teeth cutting through first. By the time they are three years old, children will generally have a full set of 20 baby teeth. As with most things though, children get teeth at different times depending on the individual. Between the ages of 6 and 20 years, their baby teeth will be replaced by 23 adult teeth. As we know, adult teeth do not get replaced, so it's important to look after them.
Keeping them Clean:
Most importantly: brush your child's teeth twice a day - morning and night. Use a pea-sized amount of toothpaste on a child-sized toothbrush. As your child ages, they will inevitably want to help by cleaning their own teeth. Let them hold the toothbrush as you are brushing their teeth, so that they can feel the action your hand makes as you brush. Always provide supervision when they are brushing to make sure it is being done correctly until they're around eight years of age. It is always best to discuss with your dentist whether you need to floss your child's teeth. Encourage your child to rinse their mouth out with water after eating lunch or snacks - this will help to wash away any left over food.
Some tips for the best way to brush your child's teeth:
- Stand or sit behind your child so she feels secure. Being in front of a mirror is good too, because it lets you see your child’s mouth.
- Cup your child’s chin in your hands, with his head resting against your body.
- Angle the bristles of the toothbrush towards the gum. Move the brush in gentle circles to clean the outer and inner sides of the teeth and gums. Lift your child’s lips to brush the front and back of the teeth and at the gum line.
- Brush back and forth on the chewing surfaces of the teeth.
- Gently brush your child’s tongue.
- After brushing encourage your child to spit out toothpaste, not swallow it. There’s no need to rinse after brushing because the fluoride toothpaste left behind protects your child’s teeth.
If you’re using an electric toothbrush, avoid moving the brush in circles. Keep your hand still, and guide the brush across your child’s teeth and gums.
Remember: Children are more likely to look forward to cleaning their teeth if you make a game or a song of it. Try using the song posted above!
Always make sure that you choose the appropriate sized toothbrush. These are available in different age sizes from chemists and supermarkets, as well as most dentist. Your child should see their dentist by the time they have turned two in order to check their tooth development and oral health. Finally, remember that brushing teeth isn't the only step you need to take in order to promote oral hygiene, a healthy diet is also paramount.
At Angel's Paradise, we believe that maintaining oral hygiene is important for overall physical health.