Brush, Floss, and Smile!
Updated: Mar 1
February is National Children’s Dental Health Month! The focus is brush, floss, and smile, so this month we’ll focus on kid-friendly tips to keep teeth healthy and strong. And check out our posts on Facebook for related fun activity sheets!
The best way to keep teeth health and strong is to brush them twice each day with fluoride toothpaste. Sometimes it can be hard to get kids excited about brushing.
Tips to help kids brush:
Start brushing early
Show and tell with a toothbrush
Let them pick their own toothbrush and toothpaste
Encourage them to brush on their own (around age 2)
Make a game of brushing teeth
Compliment your child’s brushing
Flossing should start when your child has two teeth that touch, usually around ages 2-3. They should floss at least once a day for 2-3 minutes each time. Flossing removes debris between teeth and gums, polishes tooth surfaces, and controls bad breath.
Here’s the best way to floss:
Break off about 18 inches of floss. You can either wind it around each of your middle fingers or hold the floss tightly between your thumbs and forefingers.
Work the floss in an up-and-down motion around every surface of the tooth, making sure to work below the gum line to effectively remove any debris and plaque from the surface.
Bend the floss in a C-shape on each side of the tooth to get a thorough cleaning.
Once finished, throw the floss away.
Regular visits to the dentist help keep your child’s teeth healthy and used to visiting the dentist. It also helps find problems early so they can be treated before turning into infections, gum disease, or tooth loss.
If a child seems to be at risk for cavities or other problems, the dentist may start applying topical fluoride even before all teeth come in (this can also be done in the pediatrician's office). Fluoride hardens the tooth enamel, helping to ward off the most common childhood oral disease, dental cavities (also called dental caries).
Now everyone can smile a little brighter!
Sources: Orajel Kids, Stanford Medicine, Healthline, Kids Health