From what age can you use an electric toothbrush? What about flossing? And which toothpaste to choose for little ones? Learn all about children’s oral hygiene!
Did you know that hygiene for baby teeth is critical to maintaining the health of permanent teeth? A child accustomed to not neglecting the daily cleaning of the teeth will be an adult with healthy and strong teeth. But how can we ensure that our little ones have correct oral hygiene from the first months of age? Find out everything about children and oral hygiene with HEALTHDEMOCARE!
Newborn baby’s oral hygiene
How can we take care of the oral hygiene of your baby’s irresistible “all gums smile”? Before teething, the oral hygiene of the newborn should be performed by the parents, at least 2 times a day. During the first months, a simple sterile gauze slightly soaked in warm water can be used.
There are baby toothbrushes on the market that are suitable for getting babies used to brushing their first teeth – without the use of toothpaste, while for children from 3 years of age there are special electric toothbrushes with mini size and extra soft bristles.
Parents will be able to introduce this effective oral hygiene tool into their child’s daily routine by carefully following the guidelines of the Ministry of Health.
Which is the Best Toothpaste for Kids?
Toothpaste can be introduced in the daily oral hygiene of the newborn starting from 6 months. According to the indications of the Ministry of Health on the prevention of dental caries, it is advisable to use a toothpaste with 1,000 ppm (parts per million) of fluoride, already when the first milk teeth appear.
On the other hand, children between the ages of 6 and 12 can choose a toothpaste with 1,400 ppm fluoride. From the age of 12 and up, it will go to 1,450 ppm.
As far as the amount to be used is concerned, up to 6 years of age, it will be enough to lightly “dirty” the bristles of the toothbrush with toothpaste. At the age of 6, a quantity of toothpaste equal to half a pea should be used, while from the age of 12 onwards, a quantity similar to the size of a whole pea is recommended.
What is the Best Age for Electric Toothbrushes for Kids?
This is undoubtedly one of the most common questions that new parents ask dentists. The answer given – in most cases – is at least 3 years of age. Under adult supervision, children as young as 3 years of age can use an electric toothbrush to clean their teeth twice a day, morning and night.
Of course, children’s electric toothbrushes must have certain features. In addition to their small size and ergonomic design – often colorful and personalized with beloved cartoon characters – kids’ electric toothbrushes should also have a cleaning head with extra-soft bristles. In addition, your kids’ electric toothbrush should provide maximum gentleness with a rotating-oscillating-buttoning motion or sonic technology.
If you’re looking for an electric toothbrush for your baby boy or girl, check out our guide to the top 10 best electric toothbrushes for kids, which will take you directly to the shop and give you plenty of information about the latest technologies in electric toothbrushes for kids.
Electric Toothbrush for Kids: Dentists’ Advice
Why do dentists recommend electric toothbrushes for children? Extensive research to date (read more here) has shown that children learn to brush properly by using an electric toothbrush, removing more plaque, and meeting the cleaning times recommended by dentists (2 minutes, 2 times a day).
But how can an electric toothbrush improve children’s brushing technique? Unlike manual toothbrushes, electric toothbrushes make a movement – which can be mechanical or sonic (yes, sonic technology is good for kids) – that removes plaque in depth. All your child has to do is run the cleaning head of the toothbrush over both sides of the teeth without any special maneuvering. And then there’s the pressure sensor and timer; key features that make this electric toothbrush even better!
While the pressure sensor protects gums from being brushed too vigorously, the handy 2-minute timer – with beeps every 30 seconds – allows even the youngest toothbrush users to follow dental guidelines. You can’t get all that from a simple manual toothbrush! (Have you decided to switch to an electric toothbrush, too? Then don’t miss our buying guide to The 7 Best Teeth Whitening Kits 2021: To Whiten Teeth Quickly And Safely.
Dental Care Tips for Mom and Baby Oral Care Tools
In addition to the toothbrush, there is more! Here are all the baby’s accessories for caring for their oral hygiene
But to achieve a level of oral hygiene capable of combating plaque, decay, and tartar, the electric toothbrush – though more effective than its manual counterpart – is not enough on its own. So even if your little one is using an electric toothbrush on a regular basis, other essential tools will need to be integrated into his or her daily routine to achieve complete oral hygiene. Here are some of the best allies for your child’s smile.
Flossing is a device that allows us to remove food residues that get stuck between the teeth. In fact, these residues – if not promptly removed, even from the oral cavity of the smallest children – can give rise to caries, damaging enamel and dentin. Parents are responsible for introducing dental floss into the oral hygiene routine of their children, starting at 2 years of age. This can be used at night before bedtime. Generally, around the age of 6 to 8 years, the child begins to show more manual dexterity, so he/she can floss independently.
For older children and adolescents, there is another oral hygiene device that is equally effective: dental brushes. Remember to buy the right size and monitor the first few uses to make sure your child understands how to use them properly without hurting himself.
This simple tool of Ayurvedic origin completes oral hygiene in an extremely simple way. Food intolerances, flu-like conditions, unbalanced diets, and intestinal disorders can result in a white patina on the back of the tongue, even in children.
This patina is composed primarily of dead cells, debris, and bacteria. To improve the oral health of young children, parents can use tongue depressors as needed, which are now available in a variety of materials.
Plaque detector tablets
Are you getting the impression that your child is not brushing his or her teeth properly, despite all the care taken? To remove all doubt you can “unmask” it in a fun way, using the plaque detector tablets. Available in the form of small tablets or colored liquid, often with a pleasant taste, the detector uses natural dyes to bind to dental plaque and highlight at a glance all the areas that need more cleaning.
Your child will enjoy brushing away the detector and you’ll be sure his teeth are really clean.
When to add the cleaning effectiveness of the dental cleaner?
Kids and teens who wear braces may have a harder time removing plaque with just a toothbrush. To make oral hygiene easier for children with braces, today you can take advantage of the cleaning power of the handy dental power tools.
Considered to be the best ally of the toothbrush, this complimentary oral hygiene device is a great substitute for dental floss and brushes. In fact, thanks to its targeted water jet, it offers unsurpassed effectiveness in preventing various oral pathologies related to poor interdental hygiene.
During the use of the water brush, the youngest children will have to be assisted by their parents, while the teenagers will be able to take advantage of its effectiveness against plaque in full autonomy.
When to schedule the first visit to the dentist?
Many parents postpone their children’s first visit to the dentist until their permanent teeth emerge. Why wait that long? Instead, it is better to schedule the first dental appointment when the baby teeth have all come in (or as often as the child complains of discomfort or pain in the teeth and gums). Getting a young child used to dental visits from an early age is essential to create a calm atmosphere and avoid unwarranted anxiety.
During the child’s first dental visit, the dentist will be able to check not only the health of the oral cavity but also the level of hygiene, in order to correct any possible errors. To make your child’s first visit to the dentist a pleasant experience, you can implement the following tips:
The importance of a Healthy Teeth diet
The prevention of the main problems of the oral cavity begins at the table, in fact, a proper diet helps the child to maintain a healthy set of teeth and to prevent caries. There are many foods that are potentially cariogenic! Among these are foods containing sugar and glucose – such as jams, candies, and industrial sweets in general – refined cereals, sugary carbonated drinks, and some acidic foods, such as oranges.
These cariogenic foods tend to attack tooth enamel through slow but inevitable erosion. In order to counteract the acid effect of cariogenic foods – in addition to making sure that the child is performing proper oral hygiene – we can introduce into his or her diet what are considered anti-cariogenic foods, such as fresh fruit with a low level of acidity (apples, pears, apricots, etc.), nuts, raw vegetables and – if liked and tolerated – dairy products and aged cheeses.
Electric toothbrush for teenagers with whitening effect: is it really safe?
Teeth tend to yellow due to certain eating habits that include particularly pigmented drinks and foods. Chocolate, licorice, and candies with coloring can undermine the clarity of teeth as early as adolescence.
To counteract this particularly common aesthetic problem, electric toothbrush manufacturers have created several models equipped with “White” programs.
Electric toothbrushes for teenagers, just like those for adults, have different cleaning programs. Among them, it is not uncommon to find a whitening program. This program is carried out by a special rotating brush head because, in addition to the nylon bristles, it also has rubberized bristles that – thanks to their porous consistency – manage to eliminate the unsightly yellowish patina on teeth.
It is therefore a safe and well-tolerated whitening process that does not involve the use of abrasive or otherwise aggressive substances for enamel and gums.