At Larry Caldwell, DDS & Associates, we believe it is very important to establish a strong oral hygiene routine from an early age. For, in addition to regular appointments at your local Sugar Land, TX pediatric dentist, it is brushing and flossing that best ensures a clean and healthy smile.
A Brief Brush-Up On The Facts
When food particles become lodged in or around your teeth and gums, they can lead to harmful bacteria that promote the build-up of plaque. This, in turn, could eventually lead to tooth decay, gum disease, and even loss of teeth. However, by maintaining a thorough and regular brushing and flossing routine as recommended by your pediatric dentist, you can avoid these problems and their potentially costly treatment.
For Larry Caldwell, DDS & Associates’ suggestions on good dental hygiene habits: see below. (And don't forget to check out the interactive chart too!)
Most people only brush their teeth for 30 to 40 seconds at a time, but it is actually dentist recommended that you brush for 2 to 3 minutes at each occurrence. Furthermore, when teaching your child how to brush their teeth, follow these steps to ensure a truly thorough cleaning:
- Step 1: Use a soft bristled toothbrush and a pea-size amount of fluoride toothpaste. Hold the brush at an angle and move it in small, gentle, circular motions against the teeth.
- Step 2: Gently brush the chewing surfaces of your teeth, and don't forget to get the back ones too!
- Step 3: Using the same circular motions, brush the inside of the upper and lower teeth.
- Step 4: Angling your brush, clean the inside of the top and bottom teeth.
- Step 5: Finish by brushing your tongue and the roof of your mouth (bacteria tends to build up on these areas throughout the day).
- Step 6: Rinse with water.
Many people don't floss because they say it takes too much time, it makes their gums bleed, or they believe brushing alone is enough to keep teeth healthy and clean. The truth is, though, that flossing is one of the most important parts of maintaining good oral hygiene as it removes food particles stuck between the teeth that regular brushing can't reach.
For best flossing practices, our pediatric dentist recommends the following steps:
- Step 1: Wrap a strand of floss around your middle fingers.
- Step 2: Gently guide the floss between all teeth down to the gum line, including the backsides of the teeth. This will help remove food particles and plaque.
- Step 3: For each tooth, unwrap a clean area of floss from around your fingers.
When your child first starts flossing their gums may bleed – which is normal. After establishing a regular routine the gums should become healthier and bleed less, or not at all. Additionally, we recommend that your child try brushing his or her teeth after every meal and aim to floss at least once a day.
What You Eat Is Important to Your Oral Health Too!
With kids it is especially important to monitor diet since teeth, bones, and oral soft tissue require a healthy and balanced intake of nutrients. A diet comprised of a variety of foods from the five main food groups will help to avoid and minimize cavities and other common dental problems.
To best protect your teeth, Larry Caldwell, DDS & Associates recommends that you regularly consume healthy foods such as high-fiber vegetables and dairy products, and decrease consumption of the following:
Scheduling Regular Visits With Your Pediatric Dentist
Regularly visiting your pediatric dentist is another important aspect of safeguarding your child’s healthy smile. To schedule an appointment at our Sugar Land or Wharton, TX office, or to learn more about tooth decay prevention and preventative services like dental sealants, please contact us now. Whether you are from Sugar Land, Wharton, Richmond, or Rosenberg, our friendly staff is always happy to answer questions, and would love to schedule your child's first visit or follow-up appointment.
For tips on brushing and flossing with braces, click here! And to learn about the latest innovation for easy flossing with braces, discover the Harp Orthodontic Flosser today!