Some parents believe that their child’s primary teeth are less important than their secondary teeth. At Koch Park Dental in Florissant, we assure you: that is absolutely incorrect.
The thinking goes like this: “They’re going to fall out anyway, right? We’ll get serious about dental health when their adult teeth come in.”
The factts are this: a child’s baby teeth are just as important to their health, speech development, and self-esteem as permanent teeth.
The twenty baby teeth set the stage for a beautiful smile. Taking care of them is essential!
When Brushing Is A Battle
A child’s dislike is understandable. A parent takes a pokey bristly thing, smears some minty paste on it, puts it in their mouth and scrubs their teeth with it. No wonder it doesn’t appeal to some young children. Sometimes parents want to give up the struggle until their child is older.
We urge you to keep trying. Here are some recommendations for toothbrushing tantrums.
Go Easy On The Toothpaste
If toothpaste is the problem, brush with a smaller amount or even without it at first. The goal is to remove food particles that will lead to plaque and bacteria, eventually causing decay. Toothpaste is not required for removing food particles. Fluoride is important, however. If you are concerned that your child isn’t getting enough, talk to Martin Buchheit about fluoride supplements.
Let Your Child Pick Their Toothbrush
Take your child to the store and have him or her elect a new, soft-bristled toothbrush. Maybe buy two, so he or she has some control in picking which one to use each time Let your child do the brushing first, then review and brush the areas that might have been missed.
Make Brushing Family Fun
Brush together as a family. Let your son or daughter know that everyone needs to brush and floss their teeth at least twice a day. Make it fun.
Baby Steps At First
To develop the habit, keep the time short and slowly prolong the sessions. Brush heads are hard with bristles that poke. Toothpaste may seem “hot” to some kids. Teaching your child that brushing is non-negotiable is the essential first step. After it has become part of the routine, add time by singing songs or brushing your teeth at the same time. Some Missouri parents have had success with setting a timer.
Remember The Reinforcement
Compliment your child on their fantastic effort in taking care of themselves. Be sure to preserve a positive attitude. Let your child know that you love their beautiful smile and want it to always be shiny white. Positive reinforcement and establishing a routine are important parts of childhood dental brushing. We want children to be passionate about a habit that will impact their health throughout their life.
Talk To Us About Sealants
If your child continues to struggle with brushing, you may consider sealants. Sealants are useful protective barriers applied to the biting surfaces of teeth. A sealant aids in preventing food particles from lodging in difficult places to brush including the pits and grooves in the rear molars. They are not a substitute for brushing, but that added barrier can help.