Helping Your Child Battle Plaque

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Maybe your children like playing pretend battle games but don’t really like brushing their teeth. Yet daily our mouths are exposed to environmental toxins from our food, drinks, kisses and breathing. You can teach your little ones that excellent oral hygiene skills are like battling the bad guys in their mouths.

Before kindergarten age, kids will probably need your help brushing their teeth properly. Teaching them by through consistent demonstrations is the best way to get them in the habit; help them brush twice a day Here’s how to brush your young child’s teeth:

1. Place the toothbrush at 45-degree angle to the gums.
2. Gently brush your child’s gums and teeth horizontally with short strokes
3. Thoroughly brush the outer sides, the inner sides and the tops of the teeth and gums.
4. Use a soft toothbrush for gum surfaces where baby or adult teeth have not yet grown.
5. Since our tongues have even more power to spread plaque in the mouth than our teeth, it’s important to brush your child’s tongue to eliminate bacteria.

Another important defense in the war against plaque is flossing. Children should floss once a day, just like adults. They will need your direction here too until they are able to floss on their own. Here are some instructions:

1, Hold a reasonable length of floss between your thumb and index finger, twining it around each finger.
2. Gently nudge the floss between your child’s teeth.
3. Position the floss in a ‘C’ shape and guide it up and down along the tooth and under the gumline.
4. Copy this process for all crevices between the teeth in your child’s mouth.

Don’t forget to arrange dental check-ups for your child every 6 months with Gilbert Fernandez, DDS, Inc.. We recommend you start this either as soon as your child gets their first tooth or at about one year of age. Don’t worry, Dr. Gilbert Fernandez is a well-known general in the war against plaque. Call us at 505-898-8063.