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  • Karina Egel and Dr Vyla Ellis

5 tips for cleaning kids teeth

When children get cavities we are often asked by their parents why this has happened. Today our oral health therapist Karina gives us her tops tips for cleaning kids teeth.

1. Spit don't rinse

The fluoride in toothpaste is excellent at preventing tooth cavities. Once you've finished brushing your teeth its best to spit out the excess and leave the rest of the toothpaste to sit on your teeth for long lasting effects. Avoid reaching for a glass of water to rinse out all the goodness in the toothpaste.

2. Children need help from an adult until they can tie their own shoelaces

Brushing our teeth may seem simple but it is actually pretty tricky, especially for little ones. Until they can tie their shoelaces, their fine motor skills just aren't up to the task of keeping their pearly whites sparkling clean. Its important that they start learning by having a go at brushing their teeth first but then and adult needs to help them complete the job.

3. Use a small, soft bristled kids toothbrush or consider an electric toothbrush

Kids have little mouths and little teeth and therefore need a little toothbrush. Go for a small headed kids toothbrush. A soft bristled toothbrush is ideal. Medium and hard bristled toothbrushes risk damaging the teeth. Electric toothbrushes can be fantastic for children. They have a very small head and a big handle which is easy for kids to grip. Many of them have built in timers too which encourage your kids to brush for a full 2 minutes.

4. Brush morning and night

Establishing good habits early is essential. Baby teeth may be temporary but they still require brushing twice a day to keep them healthy. Brushing morning and night should be a non-negotiable even on weekends and school holidays.

5. Once your child has adult teeth they should be using an adult toothpaste

Adult toothpaste has more fluoride than children's toothpaste and this fluoride helps protect the teeth against tooth decay. Sometimes adult toothpaste can be a bit hot or bitey for little ones. If this is the case try a 6+ gel toothpaste from colgate - they usually have cartoon characters on the box - or try a flavourless toothpaste available at Priceline.

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