DEVELOPING GREAT DENTAL HABITS (Ages 3-6)
Today we will discuss several ways to help you develop great dental habits for your children that are ages 3-6. Developing good dental habits starts at home.
At this stage, your child should no longer be using a bottle and should also be breaking any thumb-sucking or finger-sucking habits. We know this can be a difficult process and we are happy to discuss this with you, as needed.
WHAT TEETH WILL THEY HAVE AT THIS STAGE?
By this point they should have all their baby teeth or primary teeth. They may start to receive their 6-year molars (first of the permanent teeth) before their 6th birthday, but you will notice they should start losing their lower front teeth prior to that. As with most developmental stages, girls may start to lose or shed their teeth at an earlier age than boys, and may also start to get their permanent teeth earlier. Keep in mind that all children are different. Even siblings can lose and gain their teeth at different ages. Remember the sequence of eruption does not change, but the age at which each child receives and loses them can vary.
HOW CAN I MAKE MY CHILD BRUSH AT HOME?
Brushing at home twice a day for two minutes is imperative to a healthy mouth for you and your children. You will need to make sure you are taking an active role in their daily brushing. Kids at this age are not ready to brush on their own. This is due not only to dexterity but also they do not comprehend that they have to cover all areas of the mouth, including teeth, gum, and tongue. One of the best ways for you to develop good oral hygiene habits for your child is to be a good role model. Make sure you are following great brushing habits and showing them by example.
RULES FOR BRUSHING:
- Brush 2 times a day for 2 minutes
- Floss once a day
- Use fluoridated toothpaste (Pea-sized amount)
THERE ARE A FEW TRICKS YOU CAN TRY TO HELP THEM ENJOY THE PROCESS:
- Let them pick out their own toothbrush. (Age appropriate)
- Let them brush, then you follow up.
- Show them in the mirror what areas they are missing.
- Find a fun song they like to help pass the time.
- Reward good brushing behavior.
- Download Disney Magic Timer by Oral-B by Disney
At this stage, your child should definitely be seeing the dentist two times per year for check-ups. We follow the AAPD guidelines to start seeing children at age 1, but it is perfectly ok to start now.
THINGS YOU SHOULD EXPECT AT THE DENTAL VISIT:
- X-rays-we use small sensors to help get pictures in smaller mouths
- Oral hygiene instruction
- Exam to look for cavities, oral injuries, and other problems
- Discuss treatment recommendations
- Fluoride application
Watch the Video