How To Keep Your Child’s Smile Clean
Just like you, your child needs to care for his or her smile each day. Taking time to clean the teeth, both at home and in our office, can help fight issues like tooth decay and gingivitis, as well as bad breath and teeth stains. In today’s blog, your Dallas, TX, pediatric dentist talks about how we help keep little smiles clean!
Plaque and Tartar Buildup
Over time, harmful oral bacteria will break down the particles of sugar and starch left behind by the foods and drinks your child consumes. This process causes a rise in oral acidity and then coats the teeth in layers of plaque buildup. These factors weaken and erode outer enamel, exposing sensitive inner tooth structure to bacteria and allowing a cavity to form. The decay will grow and spread with time, which means without treatment your child could develop an infection or the risk of premature tooth loss. But daily care with proper brushing and flossing habits, as well as professional dental cleanings twice a year, can control the buildup and prevent enamel erosion and cavities.
Brushing and Flossing
Children should start and end their day by brushing their teeth for two minutes. For babies, you can gently clean the first teeth with gauze or cloth, or even a soft toothbrush that fits over your finger. For toddlers, you can assist them with age-appropriate toothbrushes, and you can monitor older kids, timing them with a fun song or app to ensure they clean their teeth for at least two minutes. A fluoride toothpaste is important too! Kids three and younger need a rice-sized amount, and those over the age of three should use a pea-sized blot.
Flossing should occur as soon as there are teeth sitting side-by-side. You can use a pick to help them, or they can use one too, as these are often easier for younger kids with limited dexterity. They can upgrade to floss tape as they grow older. They should run the floss up and down each side of every tooth, dipping beneath the gums to dislodge trapped particles.
A dental cleaning every six months is recommended for all kids two and older. While brushing and flossing limit the severity of plaque buildup, a cleaning can remove the buildup entirely in just a few minutes. Our team could discuss the application of fluoride gel or dental sealants to further protect their smiles. If you have any questions, then contact our team today.
Speak With Your Dallas, TX, Pediatric Dentist About Keeping Smiles Clean
If you want to safeguard smiles against cavities and gingivitis, or to schedule an appointment for your child, we invite you to contact your Dallas, TX pediatric dentist, Dr. Marr, by calling (214) 321-4880.
filed under: Preventive Treatments