Preventive dental care is important throughout life, especially at a young age. By practicing good oral hygiene at home and scheduling regular checkups with the dentist, your child can help keep his/her smile bright and healthy for many years to come. Here are a few simple ways to prevent the build-up of plaque and cavities:
- It is important to brush twice a day, morning and night. Your child can brush in the morning to learn how to correctly brush, but he/she needs an adult’s help at night until your child can sign their name in cursive. Use a soft-bristled toothbrush with fluoride toothpaste to remove food particles and plaque. Also be sure to brush the top of the tongue; this will remove any extra food particles and help keep his/her breath fresh!
- While helping your child brush his/her teeth, it is important to help floss between the teeth once a day. The toothbrush cannot reach where teeth touch and floss helps remove plaque and food particles here and under the gum line.
- Make sure your child eats a balanced diet, and try to avoid extra-sugary treats. Nutritious foods such as raw vegetables, plain yogurt, cheese, or fruit can help keep your child's smile healthy.
- Remember to schedule regular checkups with your child’s dentist every six months for a professional teeth cleaning.
- Ask your dentist about dental sealants, a protective plastic coating that can be applied to the chewing surfaces of the back teeth where decay often starts.
- If your child plays sports, be sure to ask your dentist about special mouthguards designed to protect your child’s smile.
- Brushing Instructions
Brushing: Step 1
Place your toothbrush at a 45-degree angle to your gum.
Brushing: Step 2
Brush gently in a circular motion.
Brushing: Step 3
Brush the outer, inner, and chewing surfaces of each tooth.
Brushing: Step 4
Use the tip of your brush for the inner surface of your front teeth.
- Flossing Instructions
Flossing: Step 1
Wind about 18 inches of floss around your fingers as shown. Most of it should be wrapped around one finger, and the other finger takes it up as the floss is used.
Flossing: Step 2
Use your thumbs and forefingers to guide about one inch of floss between your teeth.
Flossing: Step 3
Holding the floss tightly, gently saw it between your teeth. Then curve the floss into a C-shape against one tooth and gently slide it beneath your gums.
Flossing: Step 4
Slide the floss up and down, repeating for each tooth.
If it’s been six months or more since your child’s last dental checkup, then it’s time to contact our practice and schedule an appointment!