At The Gentle Dentist located in Shelby Twp. Michigan near Sterling Heights and Clinton Township we are a general dental practice who are concerned about your entire family’s oral health.

Because February is National Children’s Dental Health Month there are some things that need to be addressed when it comes to the care of your child’s teeth.  I know that getting your child motivated to brushing their teeth is a huge challenge for all parents.  I have an 8 and a 9 year old and am just recently experiencing this task as being easier.  The young years can be the most difficult as it involves so much of the parent’s involvement and time.  The important thing is to keep at it and show them how to brush their teeth by example.  If you know the proper technique and set the example then it will eventually become easier.

Good dental habits are critically important to set for your children for a lifetime of health. Since there is a direct relationship between oral health and total body health I wanted to write this article for parents who struggle with getting your kids to brush their teeth even though they don’t want to.  To do this I have interviewed my 8 year old son, Matthew and Grace our 9 year old daughter:

Question:  What is a good way to motivate you to brush your teeth?

Matthew:  Not wanting to get more cavities because they hurt.  It makes my mouth feel better and cleaner.

Grace: Because it gets the food out of my braces and the tooth paste tastes good.  IT also gets the slime off of my teeth.

Question:  When is the best time for you to brush your teeth?

Matthew:  Before school when I get up so I don’t have stinky breath and at night.  It is hard for me to do this when I am tired though.

Grace: Before school after eating breakfast, after school and before bed time.

The following are the basics of tooth brushing for you and your child:

Place a toothbrush beside your teeth at a 45-degree angle and gently brush teeth in an elliptical motion. Brush the outside of the teeth, inside the teeth, your tongue, the chewing surfaces and between teeth. It is important to brush the teeth for 2 minutes each setting.  The use of electric tooth brushes such as the oral B or the Sonicare are the best. Our kids use the child Sonicare which is more effective in removing plaque and and has a notification when the 2 minutes are up. This way your child will brush long enough.

Fluoride: The use of fluoridated toothpaste  is important to remineralize the surfaces of the teeth.  Bacteria from the mouth forms plaque, the sticky substance that form on teeth. This plaque when it comes into contact with the sugars from food and sweets make an acid.  This acid over time will dissolve the enamel and for a cavity.  It is important that proper nutrition and proper eating habits are incorporated into your lifestyle.

Parents should pay attention to the amount of fluoride their child receives. Too much fluoride can cause tooth discoloration, and too little fluoride can cause teeth to be more susceptible to cavities. Bottled waters need to be on the list of items that parents must check before giving to their child. Some bottled waters have little or no fluoride at all.

It is best to  contact your dentist for more specific information on your child’s oral care.  Remember to visit your dentist every 6 months for his/her advice on oral care.  If you don’t have a dentist for your family and are in the Sterling Heights, Clinton Township, or Macomb Twp. area then give us a call at 586.247.3500 or email for an appointment.

At The Gentle Dentist we provide General, Cosmetic and General dentistry for the entire family.  Call today to become part of our growing family of dental patients.