Brushing and Flossing
It is essential to help your child brush and floss their teeth until around the age of 8 to help reduce the risk of cavities and to keep their gums healthy. Brush their teeth at least twice a day and floss their teeth at least once a day. Flossing should begin around four years old when their back molars close together. Adult molars erupt around six years old, and it is essential to make sure these teeth stay cavity-free, which is why it’s recommended to continue helping brush their teeth for a few years after these teeth erupt.
Start Fluoride Toothpaste at 3 Years Old
Around three years old, start your child on a toothpaste containing fluoride. Use the size of the tip of a pen (very small.) This will be enough fluoride to help benefit their teeth while having no concerns with accidentally ingesting it.
Fluoride Mouthwash at 6 Years Old
If your child is particularly cavity-prone, they may benefit from a mouthwash containing fluoride in addition to their toothpaste. Make sure they aren’t rinsing, eating or drinking for 30 minutes after using any product containing fluoride to help the fluoride work. Only start a fluoride mouthwash once they are competently spitting out.
Low Sugar Consumption
Sugar is the main cavity-causing culprit. Reducing sugar intake is proven to help reduce the risk of cavities. Sugars that are sticky, chewy or gummy will get stuck in the biting surfaces of their teeth. Make sure to help your child brush their teeth after these snacks, or at least have them rinse their mouth with water.
Vitamins containing sugar are a significant culprit for cavities. Make sure the vitamins you select are sugar-free. Crunchy vitamins are also better than gummy vitamins because they don’t stick in the teeth as much.
Brushing After Nursing
Make sure to brush your child’s teeth after nursing and before bed. Milk contains natural sugars that can cause cavities, so it is important not to let that milk sit on their teeth. The most common holes from nursing are on the upper front teeth. Make sure to check for chips or dark spots on their front teeth during nursing.
No Bottle to Bed
Please do not put your child to sleep with a bottle of milk, as the milk can sit in their mouth and cause cavities. Try to give your baby the bottle, brush their teeth, and then put them to bed.
If you have any questions about how to protect your child’s teeth, we encourage you to contact us today to schedule an appointment.