Preventive dental care is important throughout life, especially at a young age. By practicing good oral hygiene at home and scheduling regular checkups with Dr. Coffman, your child can help keep her smile bright and healthy for many years to come. Here are a few simple ways to prevent the build-up of plaque and cavities:
- Make sure your child brushes her teeth at least twice a day with a soft-bristled toothbrush. Use fluoride toothpaste to remove food particles and plaque from the tooth surfaces. Also be sure she brushes the top surface of her tongue; this will remove any extra plaque-causing food particles and help keep her breath fresh!
- Make sure your child cleans between her teeth by flossing at least once a day. You can also use a mouthwash to help kill bacteria and freshen her breath. Decay-causing bacteria can linger between teeth where toothbrush bristles can't reach. Floss and mouthwash will help remove plaque and food particles from between the teeth and under the gum line. It is best for an adult to provide flossing until children are eight years old or have the dexterity to properly clean between the teeth.
- Make sure your child eats a balanced diet, and try to avoid extra-sugary treats. Nutritious foods such as raw vegetables, plain yogurt, cheese, or fruit can help keep your child's smile healthy. Avoid giving crunchy carboydrates as a regular snack, encourage your child to drink plenty of water througout the day, and never put your child to bed with a bottle or sippy cup of milk, juice or any liquid other than water. Teach your child to rinse their mouth and teeth with water after each meal and snack.
- Remember to schedule regular checkups with your child’s dentist every six months for a professional teeth cleaning.
- Ask Dr. Coffman about dental sealants, a protective plastic coating that can be applied to the chewing surfaces of the back teeth where decay often starts.
- If your child plays sports, be sure to ask Dr. Coffman about special mouthguards designed to protect your child’s smile.
- Brushing Instructions
Brushing: Step 1
Place your toothbrush at a 45-degree angle to your gum.
Brushing: Step 2
Brush gently in a circular motion.
Brushing: Step 3
Brush the outer, inner, and chewing surfaces of each tooth.
Brushing: Step 4
Use the tip of your brush for the inner surface of your front teeth.
- Flossing Instructions
Flossing: Step 1
Wind about 18 inches of floss around your fingers as shown. Most of it should be wrapped around one finger, and the other finger takes it up as the floss is used.
Flossing: Step 2
Use your thumbs and forefingers to guide about one inch of floss between your teeth.
Flossing: Step 3
Holding the floss tightly, gently saw it between your teeth. Then curve the floss into a C-shape against one tooth and gently slide it beneath your gums.
Flossing: Step 4
Slide the floss up and down, repeating for each tooth.
If it’s been six months or more since your child’s last dental checkup, then it’s time to contact our practice and schedule an appointment!