At our dental clinic, our cosmetic dentist not only provides overall dental care to our patients, but he will also educate them about the best and most effective ways to take care of their teeth and those of their children. Dr. Jirik can demonstrate the proper way to brush and floss one’s teeth, for example.
How Old Does a Child Have to Be Before They Can Brush Their Own Teeth?
There is considerable debate about this. Brushing teeth well requires good eye-hand coordination and dexterity. One study compared the brushing skills of five-year-olds, pre-teens and college-aged kids. Not surprisingly, the five-year-olds tended to do the worst job; they only cleaned about 25 percent of the surfaces of their teeth.
Parents should, of course, brush the teeth of babies and small children. Most children don’t develop the manual dexterity to brush their own teeth until they’re between six and nine years old. Many dentists recommend that a parent supervise their child’s efforts at brushing their own teeth to make sure they are doing it properly. Even an elementary-school-age child might have trouble reaching certain places, and the parents should help them.
When Should a Child Go to the Dentist for the First Time?
A child should be taken to a dental clinic for the first time shortly after their first tooth erupts. Typically, a baby’s first tooth emerges when they are six months old, but it sometimes doesn’t emerge until the child is about a year old.
Our dentist will examine the child’s mouth and tooth and warn the parents about the possibility of tooth decay. Since the parents will have to clean the child’s teeth for the next few years, Dr. Jirik will advise them on the best way to do so. For example, a parent should begin flossing teeth as soon as the child has two teeth that touch.
What is Bruxism?
Bruxism is the technical term for teeth grinding. It can happen when the patient is awake or sleeping. While occasional teeth grinding is harmless, habitual teeth grinding can damage the enamel on the teeth and increase the chances of tooth decay.
Bruxism has a variety of causes including stress, misaligned teeth and some conditions like cerebral palsy or ADHD. Some medications can also cause bruxism. If your teeth have suffered because of bruxism, our dentist will recommend the best course of treatment for you when you visit our dental clinic.
At the office of Samuel F. Jirik, DDS in Cabot, our dentist serves Little Rock, AR with a wide variety of dental procedures personalized for each and every patient. Contact our dental clinic today to schedule an appointment to learn more about how to keep your teeth as healthy as possible.