To prevent cavities, we suggest enjoying a mouth-healthy diet, full of fibrous fruits and vegetables. Drink more water, which prevents dry mouth and naturally cleans teeth. Brush twice a day for two minutes at a time, and floss daily. Visit your dentist every six months for routine checkups and preventative care.
Here are a few simple ways to prevent the build-up of plaque and cavities:
It’s never too early to begin a healthy oral care routine. You should begin caring for your child’s gums long before their first tooth emerges, which is usually around the six-month mark of their life. Healthy gums are an important predictor of healthy teeth, and maintaining clean gums will help ensure that your child has healthy, cavity-free baby teeth.
You can clean your infant’s gums – or their first teeth – by simply using a cold, clean washcloth. Simply rinse a clean, soft washcloth with cool water and wring it out. After your child has finished eating or drinking a sugary drink, use the damp washcloth to gently wipe out their mouth. This will remove any sugar or acid that’s left by their food, and help prevent early cavities.
Once your child has a few more baby teeth – usually between 8 and 12 months – then you can graduate from a washcloth to a toothbrush designed for toddlers. There are a lot of toothbrushes designed for babies and toddlers from which to choose. Generally speaking, toothbrushes designed for babies have much softer bristles and a smaller head than those meant for older children.
Use only a smear of toothpaste – about the size of a grain of rice – to brush their teeth. When they’ve gotten older and have more teeth, use a pea-sized amount of toothpaste. Always be sure to rinse their mouth out with cool water after you’re done brushing, and try to keep them from swallowing any toothpaste.
Flossing is also important for baby teeth. Flossing helps remove the plaque and food that can become lodged between teeth. Be sure to floss your child’s teeth daily.
Place your toothbrush at a 45-degree angle to your gum.
Brush gently in a circular motion.
Brush the outer, inner, and chewing surfaces of each tooth.
Use the tip of your brush for the inner surface of your front teeth.
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.
Use your thumbs and forefingers to guide about one inch of floss between your teeth.
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.
Slide the floss up and down, and repeat 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!