Every meal and snack you eat leaves food debris on your teeth. The bits of food break down, inviting bacteria to feast. If not brushed away, the bacteria and food particles leave behind a sticky substance called plaque, which builds up and causes tartar.
Tartar and plaque do more than just discolor your teeth. In between teeth, the buildup will start to eat into the enamel of the teeth causing cavities. Down below the gum line, the plaque and tartar invite more bacteria that make your gums swell, bleed, and erode. This is the beginning of gum disease.
Cavities and gum disease aren’t much fun, especially when you have most of your life ahead of you! Let’s partner together as parents and pediatric dentists to give your children the best chance at a healthy smile for life!
Proper Brushing Makes a Difference
Even our littlest patients need to have their teeth brushed every day. Once your baby is old enough to hold a toothbrush, give them a turn to brush their teeth before you have a turn. Show them how to brush the tops, front, and back of the teeth, brushing up and down or in small circles.
Create good habits of brushing twice a day, every day, for at least two minutes each time. By age 9 or 10, your big kid should be able to brush on their own without supervision!
Use The Right Toothpaste
Choosing the right toothpaste for your child is vital to helping them develop good oral hygiene from a young age. When your child is a toddler, choose a non-fluoride toothpaste that will pose no danger to them if it is swallowed. There are a variety of nutrient-rich toothpastes on the market to choose from and if you'd like a recommendation from our pediatric dentists, just give our Chandler office a call and we'll be happy to help you.
Once your child is old enough to understand they shouldn't swallow toothpaste, have them brush with fluoride toothpaste to help protect their teeth from cavities.
Floss Teeth Daily to Clean Between
When your teeth don’t touch, there’s not as much need for floss. This is the case for most toddlers, at least until the molars come in. Once teeth begin touching, you should start flossing. You need to get in between each pair of teeth and rub the floss over the side of each tooth.
Don’t make this a hard task for your kids. There are different kinds of flossing tools you can use; some are even flavored! If you notice bleeding when you floss, this could be a sign of gingivitis and you should call our office for an appointment. Any sign of gum disease in a child should be examined and treated.
The Right Food for Your Teeth
Everything you eat feeds and nourishes your body or feeds disease. Help your child develop healthy eating habits and make good choices about what they put into their bodies. Fruits and vegetables are a foundational choice for good health. Berries, corn, peas, spinach, broccoli and pears are rich in xylose and other essential nutrients. Dairy products are also a healthy choice to strengthen the bones and teeth.
Sugar and carb rich foods should be limited if not avoided all together. Water and milk are the best things to drink, but avoid the milk right before bed-time. With a healthy diet, regular brushing and regular exams, you can help your child have a healthy smile for life.
Call our Chandler office to schedule a six month check up. With our open door policy, you can stay in the room with your child during treatment, ask questions, and build a Dental Home for your child!