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We all want to make the very best decisions for our children. Did you know those important decisions even extend to choosing the right type of toothbrush and toothpaste? It’s true. Even though children eventually lose their baby teeth, proper pediatric oral care can influence your child’s well-being into adulthood.

When it comes to toothbrushes, you’ll want to be mindful of bristle strength. Hard bristles are not appropriate for tiny mouths and their soft, delicate gum tissue. Since children are novice tooth-brushers, they should always use toothbrushes with soft bristles.

And speaking of tiny mouths, be careful to select a toothbrush that’s not too large to comfortably fit inside your child’s mouth. If a toothbrush is too big, then your little one won’t be able to reach those often neglected back teeth. If you want your child to adopt good dental care habits, be sure it’s not an uncomfortable experience or they won’t want to brush. Remember that there are different shapes for toothbrushes, so a rounded head may be a better fit than a rectangular-shaped toothbrush.

Believe it or not, your primary consideration for choosing the right toothpaste is simply choosing a flavor that your child likes! Once again, you don’t want anything to inhibit your child’s desire to brush, so no “yucky” or “hot” toothpaste flavors!

Even toothpaste that’s specifically made for children should not be swallowed, because the idea is to teach your children good habits. But it is perhaps inevitable that a child will swallow some toothpaste, so be sure to choose toothpaste that contains as little fluoride as possible. For instance, the low end of the spectrum is one-tenth of one percent, which is ideal for kids. Fluoride is good for teeth but not so good for the body if swallowed.

And remember to teach your child that only a pea-sized dollop of toothpaste is sufficient for cleaning teeth. Choosing the right toothbrush and toothpaste will go a long way toward helping your little one enjoy happy and healthy pediatric oral care.

Finally, we’d be remiss if we didn’t mention the importance of flossing. Indeed, one of the most crucial things you will ever teach your child is to floss. Our dental office wishes to remind you of the long-term difference that daily flossing can make in your children’s lives.

The American Dental Association recommends that parents begin flossing their children’s teeth as soon as they have two teeth that touch. Due to their developing manual dexterity, children are not typically able to floss well enough for themselves until they are about 10 years old.

Obviously, maintaining good brushing practices and observing regular dental office visits for cleanings and checkups are absolutely necessary for your child’s oral health. It’s also important to feed them nutritionally balanced meals, and avoid giving them too much sugar.

And while most parents know these things, many parents still don’t realize the imperative nature of flossing and how essential it is for them, as well as their children. Remember, the best way to instill good oral hygiene habits in your children is to lead by example. Enjoy those little smiles all the way into adulthood by teaching your children to floss daily.