Learning good oral hygiene skills will help your children protect their teeth and gums throughout their entire lives. Your Akron, OH, family dentist, Dr. Arthur Benson, offers checkups and dental treatments that will help your family maintain their healthy smiles.
Technique is important
Improper brushing and flossing can damage your child's gums and tooth enamel. Use a doll to show your children how to hold the brush at a 45-degree angle across the teeth when brushing. Explain that it's not necessary to brush hard to remove plaque, the sticky substance that causes cavities. In fact, brushing too hard can actually wear away tooth enamel.
Gentle, short strokes with a soft-bristle brush are best. It's much easier for kids to brush with a child-sized brush made specifically for smaller mouths. Kids (and adults) only need to use a pea-sized amount of toothpaste when brushing.
Flossing requires an equally gentle touch, as a rough sawing motion can irritate or damage your child's gums. Show your kids how to wrap the floss around their fingers and move it back and forth between their teeth. If your children don't have the manual dexterity to handle flossing, buy water-powered flossers instead. The flossers use a stream of water to remove plaque and debris from the spaces between teeth.
Increasing brushing time can reduce your child's cavity risk
Your child may not remove enough plaque if he or she doesn't brush for at least two minutes. Unfortunately, two minutes may seem like an eternity for kids. Make the time go by faster by buying toothbrushes that play music for two minutes, or play your child's favorite tune on your smartphone or digital device.
Make time for checkups
In addition to daily brushing and flossing, kids benefit from visiting the dentist every six months. During visits to our Akron dental office, your family dentist looks for cavities and gum disease while also evaluating the growth and development of your child's mouth and jaw. Checkups also include dental cleanings that remove plaque and tartar.
Is it time for your children's dental checkups? Call your family dentist in Akron, OH, Dr. Benson, at (330) 666-8757 to schedule your appointment.