Helping Your Child Enjoy Better Oral Hygiene

dallas oral hygiene

Do your kids brush and floss daily? Do they consume a lot of sugar? These are factors that can lead to good or poor oral health, and we want to make sure your kid enjoys the former! In today’s blog, your Dallas, TX, pediatric dentist talks about how to maintain good oral hygiene and keep little smiles strong and beautiful.

Brushing and Flossing at Home

Protecting little smiles starts at home! Once your child’s first baby teeth erupt, you should clean them twice a day with cloth or gauze. As more teeth arrive, you can upgrade to an age-appropriate toothbrush, and then assist and monitor them as they grow to ensure they’re taking time to clean their teeth properly. Be sure to use a fluoride toothpaste too! Kids three and younger should use a rice-sized amount, and kids over the age of three should use a pea-sized amount. They can use a manual or electric toothbrush, as long as they brush twice a day for at least two minutes. You can time them with a fun video, song, or app, or even a sand timer!

Flossing is also very important! Kids need to clean between their teeth each evening before they brush that second time, as this removes what a toothbrush alone cannot. Extracting trapped food and drink particles from between the teeth or along the gum line. Younger kids can use a floss pick, and upgrade to tape or string as they grow and their dexterity improves.

Healthier Snacks and Meals

What we eat and drink has a major impact on our oral health. Harmful oral bacteria love to break down and consume particles of sugar and starch, which creates plaque and tartar buildup, layers that weaken enamel to cause cavities and inflame the gums too. The buildup is also linked to bad breath and teeth stains. Try to limit the sugar and starch in their diets, and instead offer them water to drink, fresh fruits and veggies, whole grain breads, and other products high in vitamin C and D.

Checkups and Cleanings

Kids need to see the dentist for a checkup and cleaning visit just like adults! The first visit should happen around age one, once the first baby tooth erupts. These visits rarely involve treatment, and is a simple knee-to-knee lap exam to ensure the wellness of your child’s smile. At age two, regular checkups and cleanings should happen every six months. During these exams, we look at the smile with digital x-rays and intraoral cameras, to make a diagnosis with precision and accuracy and catch possible problems in the early stages. We look for signs of tooth decay and make sure baby teeth are falling out and permanent teeth are erupting as they should, helping limit the risk of misalignment.

Our team will also clean the teeth too! A dental cleaning involves removing all plaque and tartar from the teeth with an ultrasonic scaling device and a manual tool. The technology enables us to remove the harmful buildup, and we then polish the teeth to make it more difficult for plaque and tartar to adhere to teeth before the next visit. This also brightens the teeth too! These visits can also limit dental anxiety as kids become accustomed to seeing the dentist, and become more likely to continue care as they grow older and reach adulthood!

Preventive Treatment Options

Our team could also provide unique treatments to help lower the risk of tooth decay. For example, we can offer fluoride treatments during a checkup visit to strengthen the outer enamel and lower the risks of tooth decay, preventing enamel erosion. With dental sealants, we will apply an acrylic layer to the teeth that coats the molars, which are often hard for kids to reach when they brush and floss. These layers keep food and drink particles from becoming stuck between the molars, so the risk of tooth decay is much lower. The sealants take seconds to apply and can last for up to ten years in some cases.

If you have any questions about how our team protects little smiles, or if you want to learn more tips for keeping their smiles healthy and strong from home, then contact our team today to learn more. We want to help your kids maintain their best smiles for years to come, so schedule their next visit soon!

Ready for Your Child’s Next Checkup Appointment?

We want to help kids of all ages in our community smile with confidence. To learn more about improving the health and beauty of your child’s smile, then please contact your Dallas, TX pediatric dentist, Dr. Marr, by calling (214) 321-4880.


filed under: Children's Dental Services