brushing Children's teeth need to be done since the first teeth erupt. Early treatment is needed so that children's dental hygiene is maintained and can grow healthily.
When a child's first teeth begin to grow, parents need to help their child brush their teeth. Guide the child from the beginning until he can brush his own teeth well. Usually, children have started to brush their own teeth around the age of 6 years.
Method brushing Child's Teeth
How to brush a child's teeth is slightly different from how to brush an adult's teeth, especially when a child's teeth are just growing. When your child is just teething, apply the following tips in brushing his teeth:
1. Choose a toothbrush with soft bristles
Choose a special toothbrush for children, with soft toothbrush bristles, a small head tip, and a handle long enough for a child to grip. Toothbrushes can only be used for 3 months. After that, replace it with a new toothbrush.
Soft toothbrush bristles can make children feel more comfortable. Soft bristles are also safer than stiff or coarse bristles, because they do not injure the gums and do not cause tooth decay due to friction of the bristles.
One thing you need to remember, don't use one toothbrush together.
2. Use a toothpaste that contains fluoride
Also choose a special toothpaste for children. There are many toothpastes with fruit flavors that children like, such as strawberries, oranges, or grapes. However, don't just pay attention to the taste. The most important thing is that toothpaste for children must contain fluoride.
Content fluoride Toothpaste helps keep teeth from cavities, inhibits bacterial growth, and strengthens teeth. Toothpaste that does not contain fluoride only helps clean teeth, not to protect teeth or prevent cavities.
Content fluoride in toothpaste that is safe for children aged 6-36 months is 0.1 mg. While the content fluoride which is safe for children aged 3-6 years is 0.25 mg. In general, the safe dose used to prevent cavities is 0.05 mg/kgBW (kilograms of body weight).
3. Adjust the size of the toothpaste according to the child's age
You also need to pay attention to the amount of toothpaste used. When the first teeth appear at the age of 6 months - 3 years, use a little toothpaste, about the size of a grain of rice. When the child is 3-6 years old, increase the amount of toothpaste to the size of a pea.
Teach your child to spit after brushing his teeth so he doesn't swallow the toothpaste. However, you don't have to worry if your child swallows toothpaste, as long as the amount is within normal limits, according to age and weight calculations.
4. Choose the right time to brush your teeth
It is recommended to brush your teeth in the morning and at night before going to bed. Brush your child's teeth slowly, for 2-3 minutes. Brushing your child's teeth slowly can clean the dirt on his teeth without causing injury to the gums.
A child's first baby teeth usually appear at the age of 3-8 months. You can start cleaning your child's teeth using gauze or a soft cloth wrapped around the index finger. Next, wipe the surface of the child's teeth with the index finger.
Once your baby's front baby teeth are fully developed, you can start introducing them to a toothbrush. Initially, brush your teeth only with water. If your child is used to and comfortable brushing their teeth, you can introduce them to toothpaste.
Parents need to pay attention to the health of their children's teeth and mouth since their first teeth appear, starting from brushing their teeth, teaching them how to brush their teeth, to reminding them to brush their teeth when they can brush their own teeth. And don't forget, routinely check your child's teeth to the dentist.
drg. Robbykha Rosalien, M.Sc(Dentist)