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Dental Care for Kids

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Dental Care for Kids

It is best to refrain from using words around your child that might cause fear, such as “needle, pull, drill or hurt.” We make a practice of using words that convey the message, but are pleasant and non-frightening to the child. 

We ask that parents help their children brush their teeth until the child is 8 years old. It has been determined that children do not have the dexterity to brush their own teeth until that time. We ask that parents floss for their children until they are 10 for that same reason. Children do not have the dexterity to floss for themselves.

Proper brushing removes plaque from the inner, outer and chewing surfaces. When teaching children to brush, place the toothbrush at a 45 degree angle and start along the gum line with a soft bristle brush in a gentle circular motion. Brush the outer surfaces of each tooth, upper and lower. Repeat the same method on the inside surfaces and chewing surfaces of all the teeth. Finish by brushing the tongue to help freshen breath and remove bacteria.

Flossing removes plaque between the teeth where a toothbrush can’t reach. Flossing should begin when any two teeth touch which is usually around the age of 4.  Use about 18 inches of floss, winding most of it around the middle fingers of both hands. Hold the floss lightly between the thumbs and forefingers. Use a gentle, back-and-forth motion to guide the floss between the teeth. Curve the floss into a C-shape and slide it into the space between the gum and tooth until you feel resistance. Gently scrape the floss against the side of the tooth. Repeat this procedure on each tooth. Don’t forget the backs of the last four teeth.

For older children, brush their teeth at least twice a day. Also, watch the number of snacks containing sugar that you give your children.

Your pediatric dentist may also recommend protective sealants or home fluoride treatments for your child. Sealants can be applied to your child’s molars to prevent decay on hard to clean surfaces.