Mother And Daughter Brushing Teeth

An Oral Hygiene Routine for the Whole Family

Dr. Kim Tan

Dr. Kim Tan

Tooth decay is preventable. If you develop healthy oral habits now, you can mitigate the need for costly dental treatments as you age. Here’s some information to help you establish an oral hygiene routine for your entire family.

Brushing Basics for Every Age

Even before your child has teeth, oral hygiene should be part of their daily routine. Wipe their gums with a wet washcloth twice a day to remove bacteria and food residue. Use a toothbrush and water to clean your child’s teeth as soon as the first one appears.

Once your child can spit, usually around the age of three, use a pea-size amount of toothpaste on their toothbrush. Fluoride toothpaste helps prevent tooth decay but shouldn’t be. Once your child can write their name, they’ll also have the dexterity to brush their own teeth effectively but should still be supervised.

Regardless of age, you should brush your teeth twice a day. A toothbrush with soft bristles is recommended for all ages to avoid irritating the gums. Replace a toothbrush every three months or when the bristles start to fray and bend.

How and When to Floss

A child’s teeth start to fit closely together between the ages of two and six. This is when parents should introduce the habit of flossing. By the age of 10, children should be capable of flossing on their own.

Regardless of age, you should floss your teeth at least once a day, ideally before bed to prevent plaque and food from lingering on your teeth all night. It’s normal for gums to bleed the first few times you floss.

Floss your teeth in the same order every day to form a habit and avoid skipping teeth. Curve the floss into a C-shape around each tooth and gently slide it back and forth beneath the gumline. To avoid spreading bacteria, use a clean section of floss for each tooth.

Visit your dentist in South West Edmonton

Regular dental appointments are crucial to oral hygiene at any age. Tartar buildup can’t be removed at home, and a checkup allows your dentist to assess your oral health.

A child should have their first dentist appointment within six months of getting their first tooth and no later than after their first birthday. Subsequent visits should happen every six months. As an adult, the frequency of your visits depends on your oral health but should occur twice a year.

At Heritage Dental Centre, we offer a variety of family dentistry services. To book your next teeth cleaning appointment in South West Edmonton, contact us today.

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Dr. Kim Tan
Dr. Kim Tan
Practicing at Heritage Dental Centre since 2005, Kim is recognized with the Mac George Strelioff Scholarship in Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery.