Prevention

Brushing and Flossing tips: Caring for your Child's Teeth

Brushing:
  • 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.
  • If they are under the age of 2, use a small "smear" of toothpaste.
  • Each year your child grows, we recommend adding a little more toothpaste. Our motto here is: "add an additional row of bristles of toothpaste for every birthday!"
  • Be sure and use an ADA-accepted fluoride toothpaste and make sure your child does not swallow it.
  • When brushing, the parent should brush the child's teeth until they are old enough to do a good job on their own.
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - 

Flossing:
  • Flossing removes plaque between teeth and under the gumline where a toothbrush can't reach.
  • Flossing should begin when any two teeth touch.
  • Be sure and floss your child's teeth daily until he or she can do it alone.
  • Can either use string floss or "plackers" (flossers!). We recommend putting these flossers in the shower and creating a habit of flossing in the tub before bed!
 

Diet

It's very simple: a good diet = heathy 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.