We know many of you have questions regarding how to best care for your children’s teeth, so we have come up with a ‘Top Five’ list on ways to continue to have healthy teeth and gums. Did you know that tooth decay is the number one disease affecting children in the US? Developing good cleaning habits at this early age can be so beneficial for your children as they grow.
1. Use Fluoride Toothpaste
We recommend starting with toothpaste that contains fluoride once your child has their first tooth. Fluoride is very important to help fight against cavities. The amount of toothpaste would increase as the child is older, but for example a toddler should only have an amount the size of a pea.
2. Schedule Regular Dental Visits
Just as it is important for adults to visit their dental office twice a year for regular cleanings, it is the same for children. Beginning at age three, we recommend you start bringing your child in for appointments. At that time we can give an exam, but also work with you on proper techniques for cleaning your children’s teeth. If there are any issues with your children’s teeth before that age, please call and we can recommend a pediatric dentist.
3. Floss Teeth Daily
It is never to young to start flossing. This should become a daily habit for you and your children. It can be tricky getting them to floss at a young age, but once teeth are touching is important to clear out the food and plaque between them. They do may disposable flossers if you find that easier with your child than string floss.
4. Brush Teeth for Two Minutes Twice a Day
Spend two minutes two times a day with your children brushing their teeth. Think of it as brushing each quadrant in the mouth for 30 seconds. Use your judgment on when they are able to brush their teeth on their own, but up until then either an adult needs to brush their teeth or be supervised as they brush. If you are interested, there are kid-friendly apps that have a timer on them specifically for counting down while brushing teeth.
5. Use the Right Tools and Techniques
Just as we have said before, learning good habits early will help your children’s teeth and gums down the road. One of the most important tips is to not brush too hard as this can cause long-lasting damage to the gums. It is also important to use the right tools for the age of your children. When you are in for your cleanings, the hygienist can recommend the best toothbrush to use for your age child.
Continue to check our website and follow us on Facebook for additional information and tips to help you care for your children’s teeth throughout the rest of February!