At Children’s Crossing Pediatric Dentistry, preventive dentistry is a big part of our program for your children’s oral health. This general field involves taking the right early steps to detect and prevent oral issues early in life, which generally leads to far better oral health later on down the line.
A pediatric dentist can only do so much here, though. A big part of prevention of oral issues in children comes down to how they care for their mouth at home on a daily basis, and you have a big role in this as a parent. Perhaps the single most important area here is brushing the teeth, and associated with this is proper storage of the toothbrush – let’s go over some basic tips to give your kids on storing their toothbrush in the right way.
After each individual use, teach your children to thoroughly rinse the toothbrush under running water. This will remove any little food or other particles that attached to it, plus any toothpaste still left over. Remind kids that if they don’t do this well, their toothbrush will build up gunk and be disgusting before long.
After rinsing the toothbrush, you can go the extra mile by soaking it in an antibacterial mouthwash. There’s some research showing that this can reduce bacteria present on the toothbrush, which can in turn reduce the risk for plaque and cavities. If your child is prone to cavities, definitely consider this step.
Open, Not Sealed
When it comes time to store the wet toothbrush, be sure to do so in an open-air container of some kind. Leaving the toothbrush in a sealed container, on the other hand, leads to the formation of bacteria.
This is obvious to most adults, but it might not be to younger children. Sharing toothbrushes exposes kids to bacteria and raises their chances of being infected. For this reason, make sure each person in the home, including children, has their own separate container to store the toothbrush in so there’s no confusion.
Over time, the bristles of the toothbrush wear down and become less effective. We recommend replacing the toothbrush for children roughly every three months, or more often if they brush roughly and wear down the bristles faster. In addition, replace the toothbrush if your child has recently been sick.
For more on storing and caring for the toothbrush, or to learn about any of our children’s dentist services, speak to the staff at Children’s Crossing Pediatric Dentistry today.