How to Clean Kids Teeth

It’s never too early to start taking care of your child’s teeth. Even before your child’s baby teeth have started to come in, you should start cleaning their mouth daily. Here we explain why oral care is important for children and some handy tips to help you care for your little ones pearly whites.

Why should I clean my child’s teeth?

Even though baby teeth fall out, there are still several reasons why it’s important to keep the baby teeth clean. Firstly, by developing good habits early, your child will enjoy a lifetime of good oral health. Strong baby teeth lead to strong permanent teeth. Secondly, research is now showing that the health of your mouth affects the health of the rest of your body. If your child's mouth is clean and healthy, the rest of his or her body will be better off, too. Lastly, it also allows the baby teeth a clean place to come into.

Tips for helping keep kids teeth clean and healthy

  • For babies, clean the gums with a damp washcloth wrapped around your finger. Do not use toothpaste until your child has teeth.
  • Help your toddler brush his or her teeth at least twice a day (after breakfast and before bed) gently for about two minutes.
  • Look for a children's toothbrush with a small heads and soft (or extra-soft) rounded bristles.
  • Help your child get excited about brushing by letting him or her choose their favorite color toothbrush.
  • Replace their toothbrush every 3 to 4 months.
  • Start using toothpaste with fluoride. Check the box or tube for the Canadian Dental Associations symbol, which means it has fluoride.
  • Once they can reliably spit, only use a small dab of toothpaste and make sure your child spits it out.
  • Don’t let your child swallow their toothpaste as this can cause dental fluorosis (white or brown spots on the permanent teeth).
  • Teeth love crunchy fruits and vegetables. Offer your child some tooth-friendly foods, like apples, pears, carrots, or celery.
  • Water helps to wash food off teeth. If there is no time to brush after a snack, offer water instead of sweet juice or sodas.
  • Take your child for his or her first dental visit within six months of eruption of their first tooth, or by their first birthday.
  • Bring your child to the dentist twice a year for check-ups and maintenance to catch any problems before they get too serious. This helps develop good oral care habits into adulthood.
  • Set the example by taking good care of your own teeth and by visiting your dentist regularly.

When is my child ready to brush his or her own teeth?

When your child can write (not just print) his or her name, your child is ready to do a good job of brushing his or her own teeth. This is normally between the ages of 3 and 6 years old. You should still assist/supervise to make sure your child does a good job.

Contact 404 Dental in Newmarket!

At 404 Dental, we’re kid-friendly. Our pediatric dentist is dedicated to helping kids get comfortable in the dentists chair from an early age so they can enjoy a lifetime of healthy, happy smiles. Talk to us to learn more.

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