Elmhurst Dentist Helps Young Patients Develop Healthy Brushing Habits

Written by Dr. Scharfenberg on Apr 20, 2016

One of the most important things that our Elmhurst dental team does is to help young dental patients learn about and master dental care. The sooner that you start integrating good oral hygiene habits into your child’s routine, the more likely it is that these health-boosting behaviors will endure into adulthood.

Here are some of the things that our dental team focuses on when teaching children how to brush their teeth:

1. Don’t swallow toothpaste!

This can be a tough one for toddlers and young children to master! When kids, who are still developing their adult teeth, swallow toothpaste with fluoride, they are at risk of develop dental fluorosis (a conditional characterized by stained teeth and pitted enamel). This is why our dental team recommends that pediatric patients brush with non-fluoridated toothpaste until they learn not to swallow it.

2. Use small brushing motions

Teach your child to move his or her toothbrush in small circular motions over their teeth—this allows your child to buff away as much plaque as possible. And emphasize that gentle brushing is good and effective—when we brush too hard we can actually damage gum tissue!

3. Be patient

For maximum efficacy, you want your child (and you!) to brush for at least two minutes every time he or she brushes. It may be helpful to hum or sing a song to help keep track of how long you’ve been brushing. Three rounds of the birthday song should do it. Lengthy, gentle, sustained brushing allows your child to dislodge as much harmful plaque as possible.

Strong and healthy smiles begin at home! Take the time to talk to your child about the importance of dental hygiene, and feel free to reach out to our Elmhurst dentists if you need any additional information or support.