Every year in October we celebrate National Dental Hygiene Month! This is the time of the year when we recognize the work dental hygienists do, and help raise awareness on the importance of good oral health. As your partner in oral health, your dental hygienist helps to keep your child’s teeth clean and educate on and treat all forms of gum disease. Here are a few tips from our hygienists on ways you can keep your child’s smile healthy.
Stick to a routine.
It’s much easier for your child to remember to brush when you make it part of their daily schedule. The American Dental Association (ADA) recommends keeping a regular routine of brushing two times a day. If your child is due for a cleaning or dental work, be sure to schedule and keep their appointment.
Brush to their favorite song.
It is important to brush for two minutes. An easy way to time your child is to brush for the length of their favorite song. As well, make sure they are using soft bristles to avoid damaging their gums. Make sure that they focus on the gumline and scrub every surface of each tooth. While both manual and electric toothbrushes are effective when used correctly, some of the benefits of electric toothbrushes include built-in timers, light indicators that indicate if your child is brushing too hard, and notifications that let them know when to replace the brush head.
Use a toothpaste with fluoride.
Choose a toothpaste that has fluoride, a mineral that helps prevent cavities. Also, make sure the toothpaste has the ADA seal of approval, which means it is safe and effective.
Choose an effective oral rinse.
Choose an oral rinse that will kill bacteria in your child’s mouth. If they have dry mouth, it’s best to use an alcohol-free rinse.
Drink lots of water.
The ADA explains that water, particularly water with fluoride, can strengthen teeth and help to prevent tooth decay. Be sure your child drinks a lot of water to help rinse acids and food particles away. This is especially important when eating dried fruits like raisins and cranberries, which tend to stick to your teeth.
Don’t forget to floss.
While flossing may not be their favorite thing to do, it is beneficial to clean between your child’s teeth to reduce bacteria. Any floss will do, though you may want to choose a waxed floss if your child has tight contacts. If you know your child will not floss, make sure to get another tool to clean between their teeth, such as a water flosser, interproximal brushes, and toothpicks.
Achieving optimal oral health requires a partnership between you and your child’s hygiene team. If you’d like to discuss your child’s oral health or are ready to make an appointment, contact us today. We’d love to see their smile!
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