Dental care for children
The ritual of daily oral hygiene and dental care begins with the eruption of the first milk teeth. But the little ones often lack motivation and understanding why brushing their teeth is so important.
Parents are often at a loss as to how they can make brushing their teeth palatable and which toothbrushing aids are suitable for which age. Can children already brush with electric toothbrushes, or are they not suitable for proper dental care? And what about the individually perfect manual toothbrush for each child? What rules do parents have to follow in order to choose the best possible option for their child?
How do I motivate my child to take care of their teeth every day?
Since children's motivation to brush their teeth quickly dwindles, thorough education is important so that children understand why they need to be brushed in the first place. The more the child experiences dental care as a normal part of everyday life and not as a chore punished for neglect, the greater the long-term benefit to dental health.
Playful elements such as the characters caries and bactus help, which became famous in educational books years ago. Furthermore, new types of toothbrush apps can help children have fun brushing their teeth while they virtually hunt monsters with their toothbrushes and experience adventures. Keeping a toothbrushing journal with rewards for good performance can also help.
The child should understand what the purpose of brushing their teeth is, that it is not just a scrubbing back and forth, but that the movement must remove the remains of food so that no holes are made. Because holes have to be drilled and that's exactly what no child wants.
In addition to educational books, parents in particular are the best role models who should also like to brush together with the children so that they can see firsthand how to properly brush their teeth.
The variety of children's toothbrushes often leaves parents perplexed, as it creates uncertainty as to which toothbrush is the right one for the child's age and situation. In addition to the classic manual toothbrushes, there are also electric and sonic toothbrushes for children.
In general, the parents start brushing their teeth from the first baby tooth until the toddlers themselves are able to perform the movements with a toothbrush. Especially at the beginning, when there are only a few teeth, it is important to clean them regularly in order to get the children used to dental care. There are special toddler toothbrushes that have a small head and a soft bristle thickness in order to optimally clean the teeth and not to damage the sensitive gums and soft tissue. A pea-sized portion of children's toothpaste should be used for this.
The follow-up model, with which toddlers can then start brushing themselves, is used when the deciduous teeth are completely present. This state is reached at an age of two and a half to three years. The toothbrush head is now slightly larger and the bristles are rounded and still soft to protect the soft tissues. However, parents should only leave children alone when brushing if they can carefully and safely reach and clean all teeth.
There is a special toothbrush for children from around 6 years of age as the mixed dentition phase now begins. The first milk teeth become wobbly and fall out and the teeth require particularly gentle cleaning. This toothbrush has long and short bristles integrated so that interdental spaces can also be reached and cleaned. The first permanent tooth is brushed with normal or adult toothpaste.
When the last of their permanent teeth have erupted by the age of 12, children can use a normal adult toothbrush to clean their teeth daily.
Read more about which toothpaste is right for your child at: toothpaste
children's electric toothbrushes
Electric toothbrushes are also suitable for children, as there are special children's toothbrushes that are tailored to the needs and abilities of children. It can be said that an electric children's toothbrush cleans more thoroughly and efficiently than a manual toothbrush due to the regularity of movement, but a manual toothbrush is also sufficient to keep the teeth free of caries.
Nevertheless, an electric toothbrush is the alternative, especially for children who are not yet very skilled with their fingers and who do not enjoy manual cleaning. The motor dexterity of a child is usually only sufficient from about seven to eight years to clean the teeth adequately independently. An electric toothbrush can also make everyday brushing an experience by producing melodies and new game apps and thus create motivation so that the child likes to clean their teeth every day and does not associate any burden with it.
Nevertheless, if a child gets along well with a manual toothbrush, that is completely sufficient to ensure thorough dental care.
Particularly important: At the beginning of the independent cleaning of the children up to the age of eight, the parents should check the daily oral hygiene and clean if necessary.
When is my child ready for an electric toothbrush?
The variety of electric toothbrushes makes it difficult to choose the right toothbrush that perfectly suits the respective child. Care should also be taken to ensure that the toothbrush selected is appropriate to the child's motor skills and age in order to ensure thorough oral care.
- The first models of electric children's toothbrushes recommend use from the age of three, which, however, is to be regarded as playful in any case, as the children cannot even brush independently and the parents have to clean again.
- There are also models with a larger brush head, which are suitable for an age group between four and seven years of age. These rotate with faster movements than the initial models and are therefore intended for older children with better motor skills. They also have an integrated timer.
- In general, it must be clarified whether the child can handle the respective toothbrush, in some cases only trying it out helps. The first sonic toothbrushes especially for children are already available for this age range. Electric toothbrushes for children are available for between 20 and 40 euros.
Read more on the subject below: Electric toothbrush for children
Children's sonic toothbrush
In addition to the classic electric toothbrushes for children, sonic toothbrushes especially for children are also available. The sonic toothbrush cleans with ultrasound, which performs much faster movements than a conventional children's electric toothbrush. In addition, the bristles do not rotate, but vibrate / shake. The sonic toothbrushes for children have a small brush head so that children can easily reach all teeth and the movements are so fast that they can massage the gums and not injure them.
Sonic toothbrushes for children are also especially suitable for different age ranges. The first models are already suitable for children between four and seven years of age. Models are available in stores between thirty and sixty euros.
Toothbrush holders for children are no longer what they were twenty years ago - a simple mug or glass.
Nowadays there is a wealth of colors and shapes, there are motifs with the popular superheroes and princesses, which should give children a positive feeling when brushing their teeth.
Furthermore, the glass has mostly had its day and there are new types of toothbrush holders that attach the toothbrush to the bathroom wall or mirror. There are hardly any limits to the motifs. If the motif has become boring, it can easily be replaced. The different models of toothbrush holders are available between three and seven euros.
Toothbrush covers are available in various colors especially for children. The cover is important so that the toothbrush is protected from bacteria during transport or when traveling and cannot be soiled.
In the case of manual toothbrushes, the sizes are usually coordinated so that every children's toothbrush fits there. Most of these cases are inexpensive and cost less than five euros. With electric children's toothbrushes, a toothbrush cover is usually included and included with the purchase. If there is no cover, it can be purchased for about ten euros or more.
In general, it should be ensured that the covers are easy to clean and that this is done regularly two to three times a week so that the toothbrush is not exposed to bacteria. Furthermore, the cover should also be made of plastic, not fabric, as it is difficult to clean due to the fact that it is constantly damp.
How to treat gum inflammation in children
Inflammation of the gums is not uncommon in young children, which is a painful experience.
In toddlers between the ages of two and four, the inflammation of the gums is often caused by an infection with the herpes simplex virus. The gums swell, redden, and small vesicles form. With this so-called herpetic gingivitis, the child also suffers from fever and fatigue. Rinsing solutions prescribed by the dentist are usually suitable for therapy. In the case of strong fever attacks, antipyretic drugs are also used. From naturopathy, rinses with calendula, thyme or chamomile are used, which are regularly used three to four times a day.
Typically, the gingivitis is not caused by a herpes infection. If oral hygiene measures are not optimal, bacterial deposits remain on the teeth and gums and cause the inflammatory reaction. By removing the deposits, healing occurs quickly. Here, too, rinsing solutions help with treatment and disinfection.