January 16th, 2023
When it comes to keeping your child's teeth clean and healthy, one of the most important decisions you'll make is choosing the right toothbrush. There are two main types of toothbrushes available: manual and electric. Both have their pros and cons, so it's important to understand the differences before making a decision.
Manual toothbrushes are the traditional type of toothbrush that most people are familiar with. They are inexpensive, easy to find, and don't require batteries or electricity. They are also small and lightweight, which makes them easy for children to hold and use. However, manual toothbrushes can be more difficult to use correctly, and it can be harder for children to get all of the plaque and debris off of their teeth.
Electric toothbrushes, on the other hand, have a motor that moves the bristles back and forth. This can make brushing easier and more effective, especially for children who have trouble brushing properly. Electric toothbrushes are also great for children with sensory processing disorders, as the vibrations can provide a calming sensation. However, electric toothbrushes can be more expensive and need to be charged or replaced batteries regularly.
In conclusion, both manual and electric toothbrushes can be effective for maintaining good oral hygiene in children. Manual toothbrushes are a more traditional and cost-effective option, while electric toothbrushes can make brushing easier and more effective, especially for children who have difficulty brushing properly. Ultimately, the best toothbrush is the one that your child is most likely to use correctly and consistently. It is always best to consult with a pediatric dentist to decide which toothbrush is best for your child.
April 19th, 2021
We all know the golden rule for brushing - brush two times a day, two minutes each time. But how can we make brushing fun for kids? We get this question a lot from parents since it is so hard to get their kids motivated to brush. There are many ways to get your kids brushing, but here are a few of our favorites!
- Brushing Tunes! - Have your child choose their favorite song and have them brush for the full amount of time that the song plays for. Because we want your child to brush for at least 2 minutes, make sure the song lasts for that amount of time!
- Brushing Sticker Chart - Create a calendar where you reward your child with a sticker for every morning and every night that they brush their teeth. At the end of the month, if they were able to get a full chart of stickers, you can reward them with a prize of your choice!
- Brushing Together - Some children, especially the younger ones, love watching and copying what their parents do. If you brush together, it becomes a family activity that they'll get used to doing.
The biggest thing about brushing habits is creating a routine. Our favorite routine is brush, book, bed - the three B's! Brush your teeth, settle down with a bedtime story/book, and then get tucked into bed.
We hope these tips help you and your family - let us know what works for you! And please share with us any other great ideas your family has to make brushing fun!
August 25th, 2020
Did you know that it is recommended for parents to help their children brush their teeth until their child is at least 7-8 years old? You may say "Wow! We still need to help them even when they are that old?" The key thing here isn't only the age, but how well is your child brushing their teeth? Every child is different. We have seen 5 year old children who are perfect brushers, and we have seen some 10 year old children who still need that extra help. What matters the most is what to look for as you're helping your child brush in order to help guide them towards better brushing on their own.
Here are our tips to help you brush with your child:
- Each tooth has 3 "sides" that need to be brushed: the cheek side, the tongue side, and the biting surface. For the front teeth, you would brush the lips side, the tongue side, and the biting surface.
- Look at the area where the gums touch the tooth, are there a lot of white/yellow food particles stuck there? This is what we call plaque! It is important to help your child brush these areas to prevent cavities.
- The areas where plaque likes to stick the most are the cheek sides of the upper teeth and the tongue sides of the lower teeth. With the cheeks and tongue squishing against those sides of the teeth, it's hard for your child to brush there, so spend extra time checking these spots!
- Divide the mouth into 4 different sections - upper right, upper left, lower left, lower right. Spend 30 seconds brushing each section, which will equal a total of 2 minutes of brushing!
- Don't forget to brush the tongue! If the tongue remains white and coated over time, this can be a cause of stinky breath!
- Over time, as you work with your child to brush their teeth, they will know what to look for when they are brushing. They can brush on their own first, then you as the parent can check their brushing and help remind them of any places they have missed. Then before you know it, they'll be able to brush super well on their own!
- As a rule of thumb, children are usually able to brush their teeth on their own once they know how to tie their own shoelaces. This demonstrates that they have enough hand motor skills in order to brush their teeth effectively!
We hope these tips help you and your child become a better brushing team together!
August 6th, 2020
With the pandemic still on our minds, it's really important to not only keep up good hand hygiene but good oral hygiene as well! Did you know that a single toothbrush can hold as many 1.2 million bacteria? That's a lot!
So how do you take care of your toothbrush and how often do you need to change them out? These are great questions! A healthy and clean toothbrush means a healthy child!
How can you take care of your child's toothbrush?
- After using the toothbrush, shake it vigorously under tap water and store it in an upright position so that it can air out
- Make sure the toothbrush dries between uses
- Keep the toothbrush from touching other toothbrushes when it is stored - you don't want to pass any germs or viruses between the brushes
- Plastic cases are great to protect the toothbrush bristles, but make sure to allow the toothbrush to dry in the open air to reduce the spread of germs
How often should you change your child's toothbrush?
- It is recommended to change your toothbrush every 3 months
- Studies have shown that after 3 months of normal wear and tear, the toothbrush becomes less effective at removing plaque from your child's teeth!
- Over time, bristles break down and lose their effectiveness at getting into all the tiny grooves on your child's teeth
- And super important! - if your child has had a cold, flu, mouth infection, or sore throat - change out the toothbrush! Germs can hide in the bristles and cause reinfection. We don't want your child to get sick again!
Keeping up the good habit of changing out your toothbrush often will not only keep your child's smile clean and bright, but also keeps your child healthy!
May 14th, 2020
Many parents come to the office asking, "when do I start brushing my child's teeth?" The answer is - the sooner the better! Starting at birth, you want to clean your child's gums (even before they have teeth) with a soft infant toothbrush or cloth and water. This helps keep your child's mouth clean and allows you to become comfortable with oral health for your child!
What type of toothbrush can you use? It is best to choose a soft,age-appropriate sized toothbrush. When you purchase a toothbrush, most will note at the top the softness of the toothbrush and will also give you an age range for the toothbrush size. The great part is, toothbrushes come in many fun designs and colors. You can have your child choose a color they like - it'll make brushing that much more fun!
As soon as teeth start to erupt, you can use toothpaste with your toothbrush! For children under 3 years old, you should use a tiny smear of fluoridated-toothpaste. The amount of toothpaste on the toothbrush should be about the size of a grain of rice. Once children are 3-6 years old, the amount should be increased to a pea-sized dollop. The toothpaste amount is really important because young children do not have the ability to spit out. By using the correct amount of toothpaste, your child will not swallow excess toothpaste after brushing. As always, we recommend parents to help their child brush - at least until age 7 years old! A great way to remember this is if your child can tie their shoelaces, then they can brush their teeth on their own! They have developed their hand skills at this time, but you should always check to make sure they brushed all of the hard to reach spots.
Remember to brush 2x/day! Create a routine - brush, book, bed! Brush your child's teeth, read a book together, and have them go to bed! By having a set routine every night, your child will learn that this is something they need to do every day! We will be talking later on on tips of how to make brushing fun!