Brushing and Flossing tips: Caring for your Child's Teeth
- Starting at birth, clean your child's gums with a soft cloth and water.
- As soon as your child's teeth erupt, brush them with a soft-bristled toothbrush using water only.
- At the age of 15 months you can begin to brush using fluoride toothpaste. Caregivers need to apply the toothpaste and perform(up to age 3-4 years) or supervise their childs brushing. The key is to cover "a group of bristels for every birthday your child has had"
- Each additional birthday add a group of bristles until the age of 5 when it will be the size of a small pea
- Be sure to use an ADA-accepted fluoride toothpaste and make sureit is kept locked away from children under the age of four.
- Flossing removes plaque between teeth and under the gumline where a toothbrush can't reach.
- Flossing should begin when any two teeth touch one another.
- Be sure and floss your child's teeth daily until he or she can do it alone.
- Choose either string floss or "Plackers" (floss picks). We recommend putting these flossers in the shower/bath area to create the good habit of flossing every time your child takes a shower or bath
"You can't brush away a bad diet!" It's very simple: a good diet = healthy teeth. Healthy eating habits lead to healthy teeth. Like the rest of the body, the teeth, bones and the soft tissues of the mouth need a well-balanced diet.
Children should eat a variety of foods from the five major food groups. Most snacks that children eat can lead to cavity formation. The more frequently a child snacks, the greater the chance for tooth decay. How long food remains in the mouth also plays a role.
For example, hard candy and breath mints stay in the mouth a long time, which cause longer acid attacks on tooth enamel. If your child must snack, choose nutritious foods such as vegetables, low-fat yogurt, and low-fat cheese, which are healthier and better for children’s teeth.