We all know that we should brush our teeth twice a day, but what about children? They also should brush twice a day with fluoride toothpaste. Use a smear (grain of rice) amount of toothpaste for children less than 3 years of age and a pea-sized amount for children age 3 years and older.
It is also important to help your child brush his/her teeth until they are 7 years old. Although it seems like they are independent before this point, they do not have the dexterity to clean all the surfaces of their teeth well. Dr. Kaitlin understands that children desire independence so it is fine if they would like to brush by themselves first, but please make sure that you are reviewing their brushing and going back to clean all surfaces adequately.
Areas between teeth are unable to be reached with a toothbrush. Therefore, flossing is an important adjunct to tooth brushing to remove tooth particles and plaque between the teeth. It is important to start flossing your child’s teeth when they are touching. Dr. Kaitlin recommends flossing once daily.
Fluoride is what Dr. Kaitlin and staff refer to as ‘tooth vitamins.’ They help to strengthen teeth and prevent tooth decay. There are several methods of fluoride exposure including: drinking water, fluoride toothpaste, and a professional fluoride application. In order to verify if your community has water fluoridation, contact your local water authority. If you are unsure if your child’s toothpaste has fluoride, it should be listed as an active ingredient. If you still have questions, you can bring it with you to your child’s appointment so that Dr. Kaitlin and staff can help you. Lastly, we offer a professional fluoride application, and Dr. Kaitlin will determine if such a treatment would benefit your child and discuss this with you.