Your own tooth brushing habits and approach to oral care have an important impact on your children’s oral health. According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, disease-causing bacteria called “streptococcus mutans” can easily be transferred from mothers to infants. That can lead to decay in a primary tooth. And, as we’ve discussed in previous blog posts, poor dietary choices can increase bacteria production. It’s not enough to make sure you’re feeding your little one a healthy diet – you need to take care of yourself, too. If you’re not eating a healthy diet yourself, the risk of transferring bacteria to your infant grows. All it takes is something as simple as eating something off your child’s spoon even if you’re still dealing with the challenges of baby teeth coming in.
According to the American Dental Association, brushing your teeth is an important part of your dental care routine. For a healthy mouth and smile the ADA recommends you:
- Brush your teeth twice a day with a soft-bristled brush. The size and shape of your brush should fit your mouth allowing you to reach all areas easily.
- Replace your toothbrush every three or four months, or sooner if the bristles are frayed. A worn toothbrush won’t do a good job of cleaning your teeth.
- Make sure to use an ADA-accepted fluoride toothpaste.
The proper brushing technique is to:
- Place your toothbrush at a 45-degree angle to the gums.
- Gently move the brush back and forth in short (tooth-wide) strokes.
- Brush the outer surfaces, the inner surfaces, and the chewing surfaces of the teeth.
- To clean the inside surfaces of the front teeth, tilt the brush vertically and make several up-and-down strokes.
Raleigh pediatric dentistry experts Drs. Porter and Hollowell will show you the proper techniques for cleaning your child’s primary teeth and can recommend the best toddler toothbrush.