Dental associations around the world highly recommend that parents supervise their children while they brush their teeth – some even until the age of eight. While every country differs, poor dental health amongst children has become worrisome. Hence the need to introduce good tooth brushing habits as early as possible, and throughout the primary years.
Clearly, younger children aren’t able to properly clean their teeth, nor are they able to grasp the importance. For parents, it’s important to help out when a child is very young, and to assist along the way, as the child gets older. Some dental professionals suggest that when a child can cursively write their name, that child is ready to brush their teeth independently.
The main aim of parental supervision is to ensure that the child does a good job when brushing. Suggestions on brushing techniques are available at the dentist’s office, often with child-friendly illustrations. Most importantly, however, is consistency and routine. Parental supervision will set the stage for good overall dental hygiene habits for many years to come.
In terms of brushing, there are some fundamentals: using a soft brush (round bristles); using the right size toothbrush; being careful not to irritate the gums; and not swallowing toothpaste after brushing. Also recommended is that children under 3 have their teeth brushed by a parent. As well, the toothbrush should be used with water, and not fluoride paste.
At the Mackenzie Dental Centre, Dr. Lloyd Pedvis provides general dentistry for the entire family. With a preventive approach to dental health, it’s all about the basics: consistent daily brushing; routine clinic visits; and preventive measures that ensure early diagnosis. Young and old, the Mackenzie team provides a wide range of services: form cavity detection to teeth whitening - and everything between.