I see very few children in my practice, but many of my patients are parents or grandparents, so in honor of Children’s Dental Health Month, I’ll answer some common questions asked by caregivers of the young.
How Much Toothpaste?
According to the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry, the amount of toothpaste a child under three should ever use is about the size
of a grain of rice. Toothpaste can be increased to a pea-sized amount for children ages three to six.
During these ages, it’s important to keep your eye on your beloved little ones when they are brushing. Be sure they’re not missing any
areas of their mouth or swallowing the toothpaste.
What About Fluoride?
At the age of six months, fluoride varnish is recommended. This means you shouldn’t delay your child’s first visit to the pediatric dentist.
The process is very safe and does not hurt. It’s normally covered by insurance as a preventive service at this age, so often, there is no
cost to the parent.
How Often Should They Brush?
Brush twice a day, once in the morning and once at night. The best times to brush are right after breakfast and before bedtime for two minutes.
The toothbrush should be the last thing that touches a child’s teeth every night.
Until kids can tie their shoelaces, they may lack the proper dexterity to brush properly. To teach them the right way, you can start by brushing
their teeth first, then letting them try right after you. Most kids love electric toothbrushes, which are relatively inexpensive to purchase
at the drugstore.
At What Age Should They Floss?
When two teeth in a child’s mouth touch, they should begin flossing. Typically, it’s around the age of two or three. I recommend flossing
should be done once a day, preferably with the evening brushing. Until the age of 10, parents should assist children with flossing. Let
them also see you floss to show it’s important and to start good habits early.
If you have further questions or would like a referral to a pediatric dentist, please call our office at 440-354-0705 or contact us online.
Patrick J. Soria, DDS