• An Orthodontist in Vancouver Suggests Setting a Good Example For Children

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  • Add toothbrushes as a stocking stuffer, regardless of how old or young your child is.

    Add toothbrushes as a stocking stuffer, regardless of how old or young your child is.

    When stuffing your child’s stocking this Christmas, consider including a tooth brush. This is a good idea even for toddlers. If children have a tooth, it should be brushed. 

    The list of things children learn from their parents is amazingly extensive. These little people mimic language, movement, and eating habits.

    As your children are mimicking you, have them mimic proper teeth brushing techniques. Parents can teach their children to brush by brushing their children’s teeth as soon as these first teeth appear. After age two they should brush twice daily.

    Anyone who has raised children know that there is an age where these little people become independent. “I can do it,” becomes a popular phrase with them.

    Letting youngsters brush their own teeth helps them develop good habits. Have them watch you brush your teeth as they attempt to brush their own.  Even when they are two and three years old, parents should continue to supervise and brush hard to clean areas. For many children the supervising should continue until as late as age six. Your child’s teeth won’t be set permanently until the appearance of their second molars around age 12, so parents should continue to keep an eye on their brushing until then.

    Here are a few ideas to teaching kids correct brushing practices:

    • Use only a small dab of fluoride toothpaste. Teach your child not to swallow the toothpaste.
    • Using a soft-bristled toothbrush
    • Brush the inside surface of each tooth first. This is where plaque may accumulate most.
    • Brush gently back and forth.
    • Clean the outer surfaces of each tooth.
    • Angle the brush along the outer gumline. Gently brush back and forth.
    • Brush the chewing surface of each tooth. Gently brush back and forth.
    • Use the tip of the brush to clean behind each front tooth, both top and bottom.
    • Brushing the tongue is not only fun, but healthy.

    Dr. Croft and his staff are here at Columbia Orthodontics when you are ready for more extensive orthodontics teaching.