Prevent Tooth Decay & Gum Disease at Family Dental Care
Lisa Knows Hygiene!
Our Knowledgeable and Gentle Hygienist Lisa Says...Prevention is Key:
Brush, Floss, Brush, Floss!
- Brushing and flossing your teeth at least twice a day keeps your mouth healthy, helps prevent bad breath causing bacteria and is the best prevention against tooth decay and gum disease.
- Choose a soft or extra soft tooth brush.
- Brush with warm water using a fluoride tooth paste.
- Try not to "over brush". Use a gentle circular motion on the gum line.
- Thoroughly and gently brushing your tongue can also prevent bad breath causing bacteria.
Visit Your Dentist Twice a Year!
- Don't miss your twice annual check up and dental cleaning. These visits are important, along with diagnostic x-rays, to detect problems while they are small. These visits also give the hygienist an opportunity to thoroughly clean your teeth in areas you cannot reach with your tooth brush...helping to prevent new problems from forming.
- Fluoride is not just for kids. Consider using a fluoride rinse after brushing at least once per day. Fluoride helps strengthen your teeth, prevent decay and can reduce sensitivity.
- Sip All Day, Get Decay! Soft drinks contain sugars and acids. When you sip sodas throughout the day, those substances sit on and in-between your teeth, increasing the likelihood of decay.
Tips for the Little Ones:
For Baby: Use a soft clean cloth or piece of gauze at least once per day to massage and clean baby's teeth and gums.
Prevent bottle decay. Avoid putting baby to bed with a bottle. This will prevent the sugars from milk, juice and formula from sitting on baby's teeth throughout the night. The sugars in these liquids can contribute to early tooth decay in children.
First dental appointment: Most dentists recommend your child have their first visit to the dental office between ages 2 and 3 (even if only to have a visual inspection of the mouth). Bringing your little one for a visit at this young age will also help acquaint them with the dental office and begin to create a level of comfort.
Avoid passing along to your child any negative experiences you may have had in the past at the dental office. Children can sense a parent's apprehension and this may cause him/her anxiety inadvertently. It is important to introduce children to the dentist in a positive way.
At around age 2 your child should have all or most of their primary teeth (10 on top, 10 on bottom). This time table may vary, every child progresses differently. Teeth should be brushed twice per day using a pea sized amount of fluoride tooth paste. Assist your child with brushing (especially before bed time) to instill good habits early.
Manage the sugar intake of your toddler. Choosing foods and drinks that have low sugar can establish good eating habits early in life. Adding 3 parts water to 1 part juice can help reduce your child's sugar consumption.
At around age 5 our dentist recommends an electric tooth brush or "spin brush" to assist your child in effective brushing. Begin to encourage good flossing habits at this age. With your help, they can learn the importance of cleaning between the teeth at an early age.
Using a fluoride rinse once per day is highly recommended, as well as your child receiving fluoride treatment at the dentist office twice per year. Fluoride is key in preventing childhood tooth decay.
At around age 6 or 7, the dentist strongly recommends the application of sealants on the biting surface of the molars. Sealants are a tooth colored material that thinly coats the tooth to help prevent decay from forming in the deep grooves of the biting surface.
At around age 8, parents should continue to monitor their child's brushing and home care habits. At this stage your child may start to develop their adult or permanent teeth. This is also the age when many kids receive an orthodontic evaluation. The orthodontist can determine at this age if your child will require braces.
When children do receive orthodontic treatment, it is important that parents reiterate the importance of good home care. Braces that are not properly cared for can cause decay and discoloration of the permanent teeth. Most dentist recommend brushing 3 times per day and after all meals. Our dentist also recommends increasing the frequency of professional dental cleanings during orthodontic treatment to 3 - 4 times per year.
At around age 10-12, your child's adult, permanent teeth will continue to erupt and they will begin to get their 12 year molars. As kids move into their teen years, they will possibly begin to develop their wisdom teeth or 3rd molars.
As children move through their teen years and into their college years, periodically remind them to retain the good habits for dental care that they were taught by you as children. With good habits and the help of your Dentist, you and your child can enjoy a healthy smile for life!