Children’s bedtime routines often involve an evening snack, a warm bath, and a short story. Unfortunately, oral health is often overlooked in nightly care regimens. According to a study published in Children’s Journal, just 52.4 percent of parents reported that their children’s teeth were brushed each night.
Encouraging nightly care that involves proper oral hygiene is important from an early age. Learn how to structure your child’s bedtime routine to promote a healthy smile.
Healthy Bedtime Routine: Brush, Book, Bed
The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) provides parents with a clear message in their Brush, Book, Bed program. This message consists of the following:
1. Brush: Help your children brush their teeth.
2. Book: Read a favorite book.
3. Bed: Go to bed each night at a regular time.
Brushing should begin soon after your child is born, even before your baby’s first tooth erupts. Use a clean, warm washcloth to wipe your baby’s gums after each feeding. Avoid putting your infant to bed with a bottle.
Toddlers require just a small smear of toothpaste no larger than a grain of rice while brushing. Children over age three should brush twice a day with a pea-sized amount of fluoride toothpaste. While it’s okay to let your toddler practice brushing on their own, always provide supervision and follow up with proper brushing.
Flossing is also a critical step in promoting healthy oral health habits in children. Help your child dislodge food and remove plaque buildup between the teeth by flossing at least once per day. Also, teach your child how to rinse with mouthwash.
Make an Appointment with our Brevard Pediatric Dentist
Sunshine Smiles Pediatric Dentistry is proud to cater to the unique dental needs of children. Contact our office today to schedule an appointment.