Teaching Your Kids to Brush and Floss

As a parent, you will have numerous opportunities to teach your children valuable skills and each one will yield priceless memories. Your child’s first step, your child’s first word, your child’s first bike ride, your child’s first unassisted brushing and flossing session…well, maybe that last one won’t be as memorable, but Dr. Shah and Dr. Velilla want to remind all Novi parents that good oral hygiene habits begin in childhood. So, today, we at Shah & Velilla, DDS would like to take this opportunity give you some tips on teaching your kids to brush and floss. 

Good Brushing Habits Last Forever

Just in case you have that nagging question about baby teeth, we’ll settle it right now. What’s the point of taking care of baby teeth, if they get a whole new set in a few years? As baby teeth come in, they are literally setting the stage for adult teeth. Premature tooth loss can mess up the corresponding adult tooth’s placement. Bad hygiene in the early years can also cause infection, difficulty speaking and eating, pain, and even self-esteem problems that stick around long after your child has lost their baby teeth. Your kids will be rid of their baby teeth by 12 or 13, but the hygiene skills they learned to use will last them a lifetime. According to the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry [http://www.aapd.org/], four out of ten kids in kindergarten have already had a cavity. The best thing you can do is start an oral hygiene routine early and keep it up:

  1. Start in infancy. Wipe your baby’s gums after every meal with a moist cloth or a soft, infant toothbrush, but no toothpaste. Not only will this help with teething, it is also their first exposure to dental hygiene.
  2. Once he or she has their first tooth, it’s time to visit Dr. Shah and Dr. Velilla. It’s also time to start brushing twice a day. We recommend getting them in the habit of brushing right after breakfast and just before bed. Again, no toothpaste. Novi kids shouldn’t use toothpaste until they are old enough to rinse and spit.
  3. When is it time for them to start brushing their own teeth? Get them started at 2 or 3, but supervise and help out a lot. Especially with the flossing. Between 6 and 8 is when they’ll be ready to take the reins.
  4. Make it fun! Using stories, games, and music will help keep the griping to a minimum and form positive memories that will support good habits in adulthood. There are even smartphone apps that can help!

What else can you do? Give us a call! We at Shah & Velilla, DDS are no strangers to brushing kids’ teeth, and we would love to help you teach your children good oral hygiene for a lifelong healthy smile.


Sources

http://www.aapd.org/media/Policies_Guidelines/G_InfantOralHealthCare.pdf

http://health.howstuffworks.com/wellness/oral-care/kids/how-to-teach-children-to-brush-teeth.htm

http://health.howstuffworks.com/wellness/oral-care/kids/5-brushing-teeth-games-for-kids5.htm

“I love dentistry – it allows me to combine art and science to help people look and feel better. There are so many options available to restore a patient’s teeth and give them a healthy, long-lasting smile. At our office, we listen to our patients’ goals and desires and find a way to make them a reality. “It makes me feel good that so many people love coming to see me. We always create a welcoming, relaxed environment, an experience people always appreciate. It is not uncommon to hear people say that I make their dental visits enjoyable and they have never had such a good time going to the dentist! “I see only one patient at a time and each is given individual attention and ample time to address all their concerns. Our office is very different, and I welcome everyone to come and discover how enjoyable your dental visits can be.” DDS: University of Michigan School of Dentistry, Ann Arbor, MI
BS: Biology/Chemistry, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI
Alumnus: Las Vegas Institute for Advanced Dental Studies, Nash Institute for Dental Learning, Dawson Center for Advanced Dental Study
Member: American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry, Academy of Comprehensive Esthetics, Academy of General Dentistry, American Dental Association, International Congress of Oral Implantology, Michigan Dental Association, Oakland County Dental Society Dr. Shah grew up in a family of physicians and knew from an early age he wanted to go into the medical field. He loves the hands-on, artistic aspects of dentistry, and in his spare time he enjoys spending time with his wife and two young sons. - Dr. Sanjiv Shah “I’m intrigued by all aspects of dentistry – I love helping my patients achieve healthy, beautiful smiles and a lifetime of oral health.” “I feel it is very important to earn my patients’ trust. I encourage them to ask plenty of questions, and I spend a lot of time during the consultation process to make sure they are comfortable with the treatment plan, prior to starting the work.” Dr. Velilla’s parents were both physicians who encouraged him to pursue a career in dentistry. His interest in the field was piqued at age 13, and today he enjoys creating beautiful, healthy smiles and making a difference in people’s lives. In his spare time, he enjoys golf and traveling. - Dr. Morris Velilla

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