Always use a soft bristled toothbrush. Once your child can spit into the sink use a small amount of fluoride toothpaste. Brush your teeth after meals and before bedtime to avoid the accumulation of food particles and plaque. Children under eight should always be supervised and given an extra hand wile brushing. Hold the toothbrush at an angle and brush the teeth with a small circular motion to remove any food particles or plaque along the gum line. Be sure to brush all areas of your child’s teeth including the tongue and roof of the mouth. It should take about two minutes to carefully brush all surfaces of the teeth. A toothbrush should be replaced every three months or when the bristles start to wear or fray.
Flossing should be performed daily to clean the areas in between the teeth where a toothbrush cannot reach. Once a child’s tooth is touching an approximate tooth the area needs to be flossed. A back and forth motion should only be used to guide the floss through the contact. Once in between the teeth you should use an up and down motion hugging the tooth with the floss going below the gumline. Be sure to move to a new area of floss before entering between the next pairing of teeth to avoid transmission of plaque. It’s very important to floss between your teeth every day.
Sugars are the resource necessary for bacteria to break down your tooth and cause a cavity. Sugars are not good for your teeth and it is important to minimize foods that contain sugar in order to allow your mouth a chance to counteract the effect of sugars. Foods eaten between meals should not contain fermentable sugars and sticky carbohydrate foods are not suitable snacks especially when you cannot brush soon after. Drinks such as fruit juices, sports drinks and sodas contain a lot of sugar and should not be drunk repeatedly throughout the day. By minimizing the frequency of sugars in your mouth you will decrease the opportunity for decay. Options for healthy snacks include foods such as nuts, fruits, vegetables, wholegrains, and cheeses