Oral Hygiene & Cleaning
When your children come in to Smile Town Dentistry in Burnaby for regular appointments, our dental hygiene team will teach them how to properly care for their teeth at home.
Professional Cleanings & Check-Ups
According to the Canadian Dental Association, children should visit the dentist for the first time either by the time they turn one, or within 6 months after the first tooth has emerged.
Thereafter, children (and adults!) should visit the dentist every 6 months for regular check ups and cleanings, and for any additional treatment that may be necessary.
Visiting the dentist frequently and from an early age will help in the identification and prevention of potential dental problems before they become serious.
Easily the best thing you can do for your children's oral health is to get them into a regular brushing (and flossing) routine.
As soon as your child's teeth start emerging, you can start cleaning them gently with a soft cloth and a bit of water. As your child gets older (3+), you can introduce a toothbrush and a small dab of tooth paste.
Around the age of 7, you can begin teaching your children to brush their own teeth, with careful supervision at first to make sure they're being thorough and cleaning each tooth, and to make sure they don't swallow the toothpaste.
Good brushing technique is fundamental to good oral health.
When teaching children to brush, make sure that they:
- Brush in small circles, right up to the gum line
- Hold the tooth brush at an angle against the teeth
- Brush slowly and carefully, making sure to clean each tooth
- Brush every surface of each tooth
- Brush the tongue and the roof of the mouth
- Brush for a minimum for 2 minutes
- Rinse all the toothpaste out with water at the end
Just like adults, children should brush 2 - 3 times a day.
Good times to brush include:
- first thing in the morning
- right before bed
- after meals
- right when they get home from school
Along with brushing, flossing is the best way to ensure that your child maintains good oral health. You can begin flossing your child's teeth as soon as two baby teeth have erupted next to each other. There may be a little bleeding at first, as your child adjusts; don't worry about this. Just be as gentle as possible, and use a soft, flexible floss.
Flossing isn't as simple as running floss between two teeth. When teaching children to floss, make sure that they
- Wrap the ends of the floss around their index fingers, leaving about and inch of floss in between.
- Hold the floss taut, and run it up and down the sides of each tooth at the gum line (some teeth require more than one try if they're very close together).
- Move along the length of the floss so that a fresh section is used between each pair of teeth.
- Don't forget to floss behind the very back teeth, too!
Flossing should take place at least one time each day, but additional flossing should be done if a piece of food is noticeably lodged between the teeth, or if your child has eaten something sugary.
Download the FREE SmileTown Kids' Activity Booklet.
A great resource to help get your kids ready – and excited – to visit the dentist.
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