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Another common complaint I hear from the parents as a pedodontist is that children do not brush their teeth sufficiently. The easiest and best method for gaining this habit is to begin tooth brushing in early ages. As pediatric dentists, we advise parents to clean the teeth of their children as soon as their first teeth come out. You may begin cleaning the teeth with soft fibered baby brushes specially produced for babies when the first milk teeth come out. First trials may be unsuccessful, but it will become a habit that your children will like to have.
Especially in times in which milk teeth just began to erupt, regular brushing will have gingival massage effect and it will relieve your child, reducing teething pains. Of course, going to a dentist when the first teeth are seen in mouth and evaluation of these teeth by an expert will be a good approach for prevention of oral and dental problems of your baby.
Another common question is about use of tooth pastes. Babies usually like the taste of tooth pastes and swallow it during brushing. That is why it will be a better approach to avoid use of tooth pastes in children younger than 2,5-3. However, it is not proper to generalize all the children about this subject. Therefore, you should consult your pedodontist about using tooth pastes during tooth brushing. Do not forget that Fluorine tooth pastes which they may swallow may create problems in dental and general health.
A couple of advices for gaining tooth brushing habits;
- Brush your own teeth with a separate tooth brush when your child does the same
- Acquire several tooth brushes for your child. They should be in various colors and include cartoon characters. This will increase motivation.
- Let him brush her/his teeth first, you brush his/her teeth after that.
- Form a tooth brushing panel at home and sign it after each brushing.
- Put a sandglass to bathroom and keep time while brushing the teeth. 2 minutes of brushing will be adequate.
- Do not forget that your child does not have any knowledge about caries. Let him/her eat sugar, chocolate or biscuits and show how they stick to teeth in the mirror. Then brush the teeth, show him/her how clean, white and beautiful it looks.
Additionally, taking them to a pedodontist after first milk tooth eruption (6-9 months) will let you get detailed information. In later regular dentist controls, seeing dentists brushing the teeth or seeing other children who brush their teeth in clinic will increase motivation.
Do not forget that regular tooth brushing will play an important role in prevention of dental problems which may occur later.