You should keep the right supply of toothpaste, floss, toothbrushes, and even mouthwash for your kids to use in order to assist their growing oral health. But the same supplies you use to keep your mouth healthy may not be right for your children, especially if your young ones don't have permanent teeth yet.
Read on to learn how to select the best oral health care supplies for your kids. Along with regular visits to the dentist for checkups and cleaning, you can ensure your kids' oral hygiene is on the right path.
Toothpaste for children is often made of different ingredients than you find in your own adult toothpaste. For starters, children don't need to use an abrasive or whitening toothpaste, since these oral aides can actually damage your children's soft tooth enamel.
Children also tend to swallow small bits of toothpaste while they are learning to brush their teeth (for this reason, never let your kids brush their teeth without supervision), so be choosy with the ingredients listed in toothpaste designed for children. Toothpaste should be free of sodium lauryl sulfate, a chemical that can cause canker sores in young mouths. Instead, choose a mild fluoride toothpaste made for child use.
Toothpaste made specifically for children also comes in a variety of flavors to entice kids to brush their teeth. Common flavors include:
- Classic mint
- Pina colada
If your child is sensitive to toothpaste, ask your dentist about flavor-free toothpaste or a natural toothpaste to make brushing easier for taste-sensitive children.
A child's toothbrush should have a small, soft-bristled head and be fun to use. Consider an electric toothbrush with a lighted timer to entice your kids to brush longer. Some brands of electric toothbrushes promote longer teeth brushing in children by using lights or sounds that are timed.
A toothbrush with a rubber grip for easy handling is also ideal. And make sure to change out your children's toothbrushes every three months or so.
Flossing is just as important for kids as it is for adults. Your children can use classic wax-based floss or use a specialty flavored floss. Like toothpaste, floss comes in a variety of tasty flavors to encourage oral cleaning in children.
To make flossing easier for your kids, consider investing in floss picks, which some kids may find easier to use than the traditional floss. Either way, your dentist can show your kids the best way to floss and will recommend flossing flossing supplies the whole family can use.
Since floss can rip and tear tender gums if used incorrectly, always supervise children when they are learning to floss their own teeth.
Children do not need to use harsh, alcohol-laden mouthwash. An ideal mouthwash for children is a formulated mouth rinse that reveals plaque after using. Small colored spots - that fade - show up on your children's teeth to show them where they need to brush again.
You could also look for an alcohol-free mouthwash in pleasing flavors that won't overwhelm or burn young mouths. An anti-cavity and bad-breath-fighting mouthwash is fine for kids to use as part of their regular oral hygiene care. Allow children to rinse their mouths for 30 seconds before spitting, watching closely to make sure your children do not inadvertently swallow the substance.
Remember: regular oral hygiene at home is no replacement for regular dental visits. Your children - and you - need to visit the dentist twice a year for regular checkups and cleanings. You can bring up any questions you have about oral hygiene habits for the home during a routine appointment.
Child oral health care starts as young as your children begin to get teeth. Allow our friendly team of oral specialists address all your family's oral needs. Make an appointment by calling us at the office of Teresita V Hernandez DDS today.