Brushing & Prevention
Oral Health Begins at Infancy
A lifetime of good oral health begins during infancy, even before the first teeth emerge. As a parent, the more you understand your child’s dental health care the more likely your children’s teeth will remain healthy.
Think of dentists as your trusted partners to help guide you in caring for your child’s teeth. From an early age, we’re here to help answer any questions you may have about teething and at-home oral care even before your child’s first appointment. If you have a question, don’t hesitate to give us a call, review our pediatric FAQs or check out our pediatric section of the blog.
Brushing for Kids
Children should brush their teeth twice a day with fluoride toothpaste and floss teeth once daily to keep gums healthy.
We encourage parents to help younger children clean their teeth until they are able to do it independently and effectively. Although baby teeth eventually make way for permanent teeth, it’s vital to keep those teeth healthy.
Not only do they hold a space for permanent teeth, but they play an important role in speech development, chewing and biting foods. Our dental staff can show you how to teach your child to brush and floss properly.
Here is a good rule of thumb to follow for brushing:
- Brush the inside and outside surfaces of each tooth, top and bottom.
- Hold the brush flat on top of the teeth and brush the chewing surfaces.
- Gently brush the tongue and roof of mouth to remove debris.
- Floss between teeth daily.
Infant and Toddler Dental Care
Prior to having teeth break through, we recommend you wipe your infant’s teeth gently with a moist, soft cloth. As teeth break through, use a child’s toothbrush with a small smear of children’s toothpaste. We recommend children begin using a kids toothpaste with fluoride as soon as the child is able to regularly spit the toothpaste out instead of swallowing or ingesting. This can occur at different ages based on the child.
By age 2 or 3 you can start to teach your child to brush their own teeth. You will still need to brush where they miss.
Limit sugary foods and drinks
Tooth decay affects nearly 1/3 of children by age 3. Children who eat sugary snacks and drink sweetened beverages like soda, sports drinks and juice are more prone to tooth decay.
Once sugar is in the mouth, it changes oral bacteria. These bacteria erode the mineral in the teeth, creating a cavity. Make sure to teach your child the importance of choosing nutritious foods that are low in sugar. Help set an example by limiting sugar in your diet as well and by brushing and flossing regularly.
Protect your child’s teeth with fluoride and regular brushing
- Use fluoride toothpaste
- If your child is younger than age 6, watch your child brush their teeth. Make sure your child only uses a pea-sized amount of toothpaste
- If your drinking water is not fluoridated, consult with your dentist or pediatrician to see if your child needs oral fluoride supplements
We are always happy to give you and your child a tour of our KIDSZONE before your first visit.
Child’s Dental Care FAQS:
Infants do not have teeth to brush or floss. However, they do have gums that should be cleansed gently with a damp cloth each day. Once the first tooth emerges, an age appropriately sized toothbrush can be used to carefully brush and prevent plaque build-up.
The American Dental Association and the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry recommends your child’s first dental visit occur within six months after your baby’s first tooth, but no later than your child’s first birthday.
You might think it’s no big deal if your child prematurely loses a baby tooth, also known as a primary tooth. After all, they have plenty of other teeth for chewing, right?
In addition to chewing and speaking, here’s why baby teeth are important:
- Baby teeth hold space for your child’s permanent tooth to emerge in the proper location. When trauma or deep decay requires the removal of a baby tooth, the permanent tooth no longer has it as a guide.
- A baby tooth with untreated decay or infection can spread to the permanent tooth below.
Preventing decay with brushing, flossing, and routine dental hygiene appointments will help ensure your child’s smile is healthy and functional. If your child has an accident and loses a baby tooth, give us a call.
- Brush your child’s teeth twice daily with a fluoride toothpaste and floss daily.
- Provide your child with proper nutrition and try to avoid foods high in sugar.
- Do not allow your baby or child to go to bed with a bottle or sippy-cup containing anything other than water. Sugar-containing liquids such as milk, juice and soda can lead to a condition known as ‘baby bottle decay’.
2 in 5 children have at least one cavity by the time they go to kindergarten? In fact, without proper care, early childhood cavities can appear shortly after the first tooth appears. Once a baby develops tooth decay, he or she is more likely to develop additional cavities over time.
What Our Parents Say
My daughter loves the dentist now-the Kid’s Zone is fantastic.
Amazing practice. Friendly. Prompt. We continue to be amazed by how smoothly our visits go. Everyone is so nice and friendly. My kids were excited to go get their cavities filled!!!!
Our daughter (4) recently had a “pink & purple polka dot sugarbug” (cavity) removed by Dr. Gore…..when we got in the truck, she told me how much fun she had in her numbed-cheek little voice! Not a tear was shed nor a lip quivered. Dr. Gore and his staff were so comforting to both her…