Why Tooth Brushing is So Important
One of the most important things you can do for the health of your child’s teeth is daily tooth brushing. Don’t ever underestimate the power of this simple, two-minute act for oral hygiene efforts. Oral health starts with a commitment to regular tooth brushing and flossing. The American Dental Association recommends that you that children should:
- Engage in tooth brushing twice a day with a soft-bristled brush. The size and shape of a toothbrush should accommodate the size of your child’s mouth allowing you to reach all areas easily.
- Replace toothbrushes every three or four months–sooner if bristles are frayed. A worn-out toothbrush isn’t a good tool for cleaning teeth.
- Check the label. Before you buy, make sure you are using an ADA-accepted fluoride toothpaste.
How to Brush Your Teeth the Right Way
When it comes to tooth brushing, the HOW is very important. It isn’t enough just to randomly make contact with bristles on your child’s teeth for a few seconds and call it good. Doing it the right way is what will really make the difference in the results.
Start by placing the toothbrush at a 45-degree angle to the gumline. Then, with gentle force, brush back and forth in short strokes along the tooth surface. Take care to brush all the surfaces of your child’s teeth, including the chewing surfaces, the back surfaces and the front surfaces. Brush for two-minutes.
Set a timer if that helps you and your child and divide the time so that you are spending equal time brushing all four quadrants of your child’s teeth.
Steps to Helping a Child Keep a Healthy Smile
Once you and your child have mastered the art of tooth brushing, remember that an effective at-home oral hygiene routine doesn’t stop there. Cleaning between the teeth (daily) is just as important.
Tooth brushing doesn’t allow your child to reach this area of the teeth, but plaque and bacteria can (and do) build-up there. This is where flossing comes in. Flossing teeth at least once a day help to rid your child’s mouth of these hidden bacteria pockets.
Teach your children to fuel their body in a way that strengthens their smiles. Avoid giving your child a diet that is high in sugar and starches. Limit the consumption of soda and acidic foods that break-down tooth enamel.
Finally, make and keep scheduled cleaning and dental exams with Dr. Cat. An in-office cleaning and fluoride treatment offer your child a level of cleaning that just can’t be achieved at home. Plaque that has turned into tartar can only be removed with professional dental tools. If you don’t have these deposits cleaned from the tooth surfaces, your child can develop gum disease and other problems that can threaten both his oral health and his total body wellness.
Look for the ADA Seal of Approval
Along with tooth brushing, you will need certain products to help you with the fight against tooth decay. Dr. Cat will discuss with you any specific dental products that she may feel that you need. You can do your part by ensuring that any over-the-counter oral care products that you purchase have the ADA seal.
The ADA Seal means the product has met ADA criteria for safety and effectiveness. You can find the ADA Seal on fluoride toothpaste, toothbrushes, floss, oral irrigators, mouth rinses and other oral hygiene products. If it isn’t there, don’t buy it!
Call for a Consultation Today!
You have questions, and we have answers! Don’t hesitate to contact us with any of your oral care questions that you may be experiencing. Call for a consultation today or to make an appointment at our Tampa office at: (813) 576-0200! Our friendly staff is excited to welcome you into our dental family!