But if you’re stuck at home due to social distancing and you want to make sure your child’s teeth stay healthy, you may not know what to do. So here are a few top tips from Big Picture Pediatric Dentistry that will help keep your child’s teeth strong and cavity-free!
Kids under the age of 6 usually can’t brush their own teeth, so you’ll have to do it for them until they’re coordinated enough to do so on their own. As a rule of thumb, kids can start brushing when they are coordinated enough to tie their own shoes.
But even when they start brushing on their own, make sure they brush for at least two minutes twice a day, ideally in the morning and at night. They should use a fluoridated toothpaste, and clean every surface of each of their teeth.
Maintaining a consistent brushing schedule is the best way to prevent cavities and keep your child’s teeth healthy, so make sure your child’s teeth are being brushed properly.
You’ll have to floss your child’s teeth until they’re about 10 years old, since it can be very hard for younger kids to learn proper flossing technique. Here’s a quick guide on how to floss your child’s teeth correctly, if you need a refresher course.
Flossing is important because brushing alone cleans only about 60% of tooth surfaces. Flossing is used to remove plaque, bacteria, and food particles from gaps and tight spaces in the teeth that can’t be reached with a toothbrush.
Try to minimize snacks high in sugar and starches, including candy, potato chips, cookies, pretzels, and desserts. Oral bacteria love to feed on sugar and simple starches, so these foods can contribute to decay. Choose healthy alternatives like fresh fruits and veggies and whole grain snacks instead.
In addition, you should only have one or two “snack times” per day. Giving your child smaller snacks throughout the day can contribute to tooth decay, because their saliva can’t wash away food particles as quickly as they’re building up. Limiting snacking can help minimize this risk.
You should try to reduce your child’s consumption of sugary beverages like juice, soda, and sweetened tea. Instead, choose healthier alternatives like milk and water.
If you do give your child a sugary beverage, they should rinse out their mouth with water or mouthwash after drinking it to eliminate the buildup of sugars on their teeth. This can help prevent decay.
With the above tips, you’re sure to be able to keep your child’s mouth healthy until they can see Dr. Jason Brock at Big Picture Pediatric Dentistry. Wondering if we’re open for appointments, or have other questions? Get in touch online or call us at (281) 461-7470 to get the latest updates from our team.