FLUORIDE– When is too soon? Can I give my child too much?

legoI don’t know about you, but brushing my three year old’s teeth can be one of the most difficult daily tasks.  I brush after his breakfast and I brush as part of his bedtime routine.  Maybe it’s difficult because he knows that when he gets his teeth brushed it means I am leaving for work (or that he is going to bed).  Maybe its because those are the two times I am tired and just want to go to bed.  In either case, it is the most important task for my son’s oral health…and it’s my job to help him out with it in order to avoid problems in the future.

Research shows that most children cannot adequately brush their teeth until they can write cursive… this is roughly age eight.    In addition, most children cannot be trusted to spit out their toothpaste until after age six

The American Dental Association (ADA) recommends the following:
1) For children younger than three years: caregivers should begin brushing children’s teeth as soon as they begin to come into the mouth by using fluoride toothpaste in an amount no more than a smear or the size of a grain of rice.
2)For children three to six years of age, caregivers should dispense no more than a pea-sized amount of fluoride toothpaste.
I encourage all parents to have their children practice brushing their own teeth, however an adult must then rebrush their teeth to ensure all parts of the teeth have been cleaned.  If you are having trouble getting your toddler/baby to open- try tickling.  It works!  Lay your child down on their back and have fun with it.  It makes brushing so much more positive and when your child is laughing hard you can see all of their teeth.  
In addition to twice a day brushing, I would recommend scheduling a check up every 6 months for your child. (DYK: A cavity can form in just 6 months time.)  A dental provider can provide your child with prescription strength fluoride which can cover those hard to reach areas and prevent cavities from forming.
If you live in Ashburn, Sterling, Brambleton, Broadlands and the surrounding areas, feel free to stop in and check us out. 571-465-2114
A little positive plug for the Lego movie- AWESOME!
Happy brushing!

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