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Dental Hygiene Tips for Preschoolers

Dental hygiene is essential for all ages, including preschoolers. Children with baby teeth are still at risk for developing cavities and other oral problems. As a parent, it can be challenging to teach your child the right oral habits. Below are some tips for teaching children about their teeth.



Brushing Tips

Beginning at age two, your child can use a small amount of fluoride toothpaste. Pick flavored toothpaste, so your child enjoys brushing; bubblegum flavor is always a staple for kids. The magic time for brushing is about two minutes. Try having your child sit on your lap and sing to them as they brush. Make sure your child spits out the toothpaste when they are finished. There are also brands of training toothpaste that are not harmful if swallowed. You can sing a song such as "this is the way we brush our teeth, brush our teeth." Mouthwash is not recommended at the preschool ages because children cannot spit it out properly. Wait until your child has a complete grasp on how to use mouthwash before including it in the routine. Children must learn to enjoy oral care, so they continue their habits into adulthood.



Flossing

As soon as teeth start developing, it is recommended to begin flossing. You will need to floss the teeth for your child in the initial phases. Use a thicker, gum sensitive floss, so your child does not cry when maneuvering between the teeth. Start in the back, and work your way toward the front using a new section of floss for each tooth. Over time, your child will become more comfortable, and you can let them try on their own. You can get more information on flossing at the Upper Hunt Club Dental Centre in Ottawa.



Limit Sugar

Sugar is kryptonite to your child's teeth. Frequent exposure to sugar will significantly increase the risk of cavities for your child. Brush your children's teeth after they eat any sugary foods. Also, be careful of letting your children drink lots of sugar. Opt for water flavored with fruit. It's a far superior option for your child's overall health. 



Make it Fun

Just like any other topic, learning about oral hygiene should be fun. Try a variety of methods when teaching your children to take care of their teeth. Songs, educational videos, practicing on stuffed animals, and making model mouths are some ideas to get you started.

Have your child stand in the bathroom with you as you brush and floss. Children love to imitate us, and you will be surprised how much they pick up just by watching you. Many different oral products are made specifically for children. It's worth the little bit of extra money for that Elmo toothpaste if it gets your children to brush their teeth. Motivate your child to brush and floss through simple incentives. Ten minutes additional of television, stickers, and a reward chart are simple ideas that will help your child stay consistent. 



Go for Checkups

Even at a young age, dentist appointments are essential. During dental checkups, the dentist will evaluate your child's teeth and gums. You will be given additional advice on dental hygiene. At the Upper Hunt Club Dental Centre in Ottawa, you can learn more about proper dental care for your preschooler. 



Get Rid of the Pacifier

Pacifiers can affect how teeth develop and how the mouth develops. Your child should not be using a pacifier past age three. Go cold turkey with your child at trying to take it away sooner than later. There is also pacifier weaning kits that can be purchased if you think going cold turkey is too challenging. By sacrificing a couple of nights of sleep, you will be preventing long term damage to your child's oral development. 



Healthy teeth and gums are crucial for your child's overall health. Remember that it will take lots of trial and error before your little one can master oral hygiene. Remain patient, stay consistent, and encourage your child to develop good habits at an early age. At the Upper Hunt Club Dental Centre in Ottawa, we offer Family Dentistry, making it easy for the entire family to get a dental check up. Also, you can do your dental exam first to set an example for your child. Contact us today to book an appointment for your children and the entire family.


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