Avoid Restorative Dentistry For Your Child By Creating Healthy Habits Early On

If you want to keep your children's teeth healthy and prevent them from having to undergo any restorative dentist procedures as a child, you need to start by creating healthy dental habits for your child as soon as they are born.

Clean Your Baby's Gum

Even though all your baby is eating for the first few months of their life is milk, you still need to clean your child's mouth. At this point, you don't even need to use toothpaste. Just wipe a clean, soft washcloth over your baby's gums or wipe them down with some gauze. This will prevent bacteria from accumulating on your baby's gum and infecting their baby teeth when they start to come in. 

Clean Your Baby's New Teeth Twice A Day

Once your baby starts toothing, you'll want to start brushing their teeth twice a day just like you do for yourself. 

You will need to purchase a toothbrush specifically designed for babies. You should be able to find a baby toothbrush in the dental section of your local drugstore. The head on the toothbrush will be really tiny, but the handle should be large enough for your to grip and use. You will also need to purchase some fluoride toothpaste. 

Brush your child's teeth twice a day, once in the morning and once in the evening. You'll need to put an extremely tiny dot of toothpaste on the their toothbrush, no bigger than a single piece of rice. Then, gently move their toothbrush over their gums as well any teeth that are apparent using soft circular motions.  If you can, try to brush your child's tongue as well. You can have your child skip the the rinsing process that you go through when you brush your teeth; you are not using enough toothpaste for them to need to rinse out their mouth. 

Assist Your Child With Brushing Their Own Teeth

As your child grows, they are going to want to try to brush their own teeth. Somewhere between the ages of two and three, your child may start expressing an interest in brushing their own teeth. At this point, you should purchase the a child's size toothbrush that is designed for their small hands. Show them how to make circles with their toothbrush as they brush their teeth. Show them how to start on one side of the mouth, and work they way around in order to take care of all their teeth. 

At this point in time, you should still assist your child with brushing their teeth. Although your child may have the desire at this age to be fully independent and brush their own teeth, they are still building the dexterity to be able to brush their own teeth. Let your child brush their teeth on their own for a couple of minutes, then step in and go over their teeth to make sure that everything is clean. 

By letting them do a little bit on their own, you are installing independence and good habits. By still helping them out, you are ensuring that their teeth are brushed correctly and remain healthy. 

Start Flossing

You do not need to start flossing your child's teeth until most of them have come in. The point of flossing is to remove food and bacteria that gets caught in between your child's teeth; until they have teeth that touch, you don't need to worry about flossing. 

When you start flossing your child's teeth, you don't have to purchase any special floss. You can use the regular floss string or flossing assistance tool that you use on yourself. Show your child on your own teeth what you are doing when you floss, then floss their teeth. 

If your child is a still a little intimidated by the process, see if you can stop by or visit your child's dentist and have them show your child what is happening on a fake set of teeth. Once your child understands what they are doing, they may be more open to the process.

Release Control To Your Child

Between kindergarten and first grade is a good time to start allowing your child to brush their teeth without your assistance. You should still watch them brush their teeth and give them pointers if you notice that they are going to fast or are not doing a good job. 

You should let them start flossing on their own a year or two after you let them start brushing their teeth on their own. Flossing requires a little more dexterity and skills than brushing their teeth, which is why you should help them with this important task for a little longer. 

If you start cleaning your child's gums when they are a baby, and start brushing their teeth as soon as they start coming in, you should be able to keep your child's teeth healthy and prevent your child from needing restorative dentistry procedures due to teeth that were not taken care of properly.