Teaching Your Kids to Brush and Floss

PDA blog_teaching kids to brush SHIH WSAs a parent, you will have numerous opportunities to teach your children valuable skills and each one will yield priceless memories. Your child’s first step, your child’s first word, your child’s first bike ride, your child’s first unassisted brushing and flossing session…Well, maybe that last one won’t be as memorable, but Dr. Priscilla Shih wants to remind all West Salem parents that good oral hygiene habits begin in childhood. So, today, we at Waterloo Heights Dental Center would like to take this opportunity give you some tips on teaching your kids to brush and floss.

Good Brushing Habits Last Forever

Just in case you have that nagging question about baby teeth, we’ll settle it right now. What’s the point of taking care of baby teeth, if they get a whole new set in a few years? As baby teeth come in, they are literally setting the stage for adult teeth. An early loss of a tooth can mess up the corresponding adult tooth’s placement. Bad hygiene in the early years can also cause infection, difficulty speaking and eating, pain, and even self-esteem problems stick around long after your child has lost their baby teeth. Your kids will be rid of their baby teeth by 12 or 13, but the hygiene skills they learned to use will last them a lifetime. According to the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry, four out of ten kids in kindergarten have already had a cavity. The best thing you can do is start early, establish a good routine, and keep it up.

  1. Start in infancy. Wipe your baby’s gums after every meal with a moist cloth or a soft, infant toothbrush, but no toothpaste. Not only will this help with teething, it is also their first exposure to dental hygiene.
  2. Once he or she has their first tooth, it’s time to visit Dr. Priscilla Shih. It’s also time to start brushing twice a day. We recommend getting them in the habit of brushing right after breakfast and just before bed. Again, no toothpaste. West Salem kids shouldn’t use toothpaste until they are old enough to rinse and spit.
  3. When is it time for them to start brushing their own teeth? Get them started at 2 or 3, but supervise and help out a lot. Especially with the flossing. Between 6 and 8 is when they’ll be ready to take the reins.
  4. Make it fun! Using stories, games, and music will help keep the griping to a minimum and form positive memories that will support good habits in adulthood.

What else can you do? Give us a call! We at Waterloo Heights Dental Center are no strangers to this topic and we would love to help you teach your children good oral hygiene for a lifelong healthy smile.

Sources

http://www.aapd.org/media/Policies_Guidelines/G_InfantOralHealthCare.pdf

http://health.howstuffworks.com/wellness/oral-care/kids/how-to-teach-children-to-brush-teeth.htm

http://health.howstuffworks.com/wellness/oral-care/kids/5-brushing-teeth-games-for-kids5.htm

As a general dentist with a special interest in cosmetic dentistry and implant restoration, I believe that a beautiful, healthy smile is a person’s greatest asset. I emphasize the need to establish good communication between the doctor and patient to achieve this goal. With a strong commitment to continuing education, I believes that it is important to stay abreast of the latest, cutting edge techniques and procedures in the area of cosmetic dentistry. I attended UCLA as an undergraduate and continued my education at the Northwestern University School of Dentistry, where I earned my Doctorate of Dental Surgery degree in 1977. I completed the Noblepharma Implant Mini-residency and hold Waterlase and Invisalign Advanced Certification. I am a member of the American Dental Association, The Wisconsin Dental Association, the Chicago Dental Society, the American Association of Women Dentists, and the American Academy of Cosmetic Dentists. A resident of the Stoughton area since 2008, I am active in my church and volunteer for Habitat for Humanity. I enjoy gourmet cooking, reading, gardening and traveling in my spare time. I am married with three grown children, all of whom currently live in Chicago.

Posted in Dental Health, Patient Care

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