Preventive dental care is vital throughout life, but especially at a young age. By practicing good oral hygiene at home and scheduling regular checkups with the dentist, your son or daughter can help keep that smile bright and healthy for many years to come.
Here are a few simple ways to prevent the build-up of plaque and cavities:
- Make sure your child brushes his or her teeth at least twice a day with a soft-bristled toothbrush. Use fluoride toothpaste to remove food particles and plaque from the tooth surfaces. Also be sure your little one brushes the top surface of the tongue; this will remove any extra plaque-causing food particles and help keep the breath fresh!
- Make sure your youngster cleans between the teeth by flossing at least once a day. You can also use a mouthwash to help kill bacteria and freshen his or her breath. Decay-causing bacteria can linger between teeth where toothbrush bristles can’t reach. Floss and mouthwash will help remove plaque and food particles from between the teeth and under the gum line.
- Brushing instructions
Brushing: Step 1
Place the toothbrush at a 45-degree angle to the 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 the brush for the inner surface of the 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 the teeth.
Flossing: Step 3
Holding the floss tightly, gently saw it between the teeth. Then curve the floss into a C-shape against one tooth and gently slide it beneath the gums.
Flossing: Step 4
Slide the floss up and down, and repeat for each tooth.
- 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 son or daughter’s smile healthy.
- Remember to schedule regular checkups with us every six months for a professional teeth cleaning.
- Ask the 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 us about special mouthguards designed to protect your child’s smile.
If it’s been six months or more since your youngster’s last dental checkup, then it’s time to contact our practice and schedule an appointment!