Caring For Teeth

The most common chronic childhood disease in America is tooth decay that plagues 50% of first-graders and 80% of 17-year-olds. The National Institute of Dental & Craniofacial Research estimates that children will miss 52 million hours of school each year due to oral health problems and about 12.5 million days of restricted activity every year from dental symptoms.

Children with dental caries may: 

  • Experience pain
  • Have trouble speaking and eating
  • Have trouble focusing and learning in school
  • Miss more school hours and receive lower grades
  • Experience a higher rate of cavities in their permanent teeth

It is the responsibility of the parents to ensure the practice of good dental hygiene, and it is imperative that proper oral care is taught and encouraged as early as infancy. We are here to help families get off to a great start for a lifetime of healthy smiles!

girl brushing teeth

Tips For Brushing & Flossing

Soft bristled tooth brushes are recommended for children. You should ensure that brush heads are of appropriate size for their age and that you change the brush at the first sign of splaying bristles or immediately after an illness/cold.

If your child is under the age of three we recommend a “smear” of fluoridated toothpaste.

If your child is over the age of 3 and can spit well,

a pea-sized amount of fluoridated toothpaste is still recommended. It is important to make sure children don’t swallow excess toothpaste.

It is recommended that children brush their teeth in small circular motions to reach food particles that may be under the gum line. It will take you several minutes to thoroughly brush their teeth. Brush up on the lower teeth, down on the upper teeth and the outside, inside and chewing surface of all of their front and back teeth. Brush their tongue and the roof of their mouth as well

After brushing, encourage your child to spit thoroughly and avoid rinsing with water if possible. 

Teaching dental care habits to your children early can be difficult. But early instruction can set your kids up for a lifetime of healthy, happy smiles. Flossing is crucial to proper oral hygiene, and every parent should make sure that their child knows how to floss. Flossing removes food particles and plaque that has accumulated between the teeth.

Many parents and children prefer floss picks to traditional string floss because they are easier for a child to use. There are a variety of flossers and floss picks available at most drugstores.

We can show you and your child how to floss. Methods include:

  • Spool method (also called the finger-wrap method)

    • Cut off a piece of floss about18 to 20 inches long.

    • Lightly wrap each side of the piece of floss several times around each middle finger.

    • Next, carefully move the floss in between the teeth with your index fingers and thumbs in an up and down, not side-to-side, motion.

    • Bring the floss up and down, making sure to go below the gum line. Bend it to form a C on the side of each tooth.

  • Loop method (also called the circle method)

    • Cut off a piece of floss that is about 18 inches long.

    • Tie it securely in a circle.

    • Next, place all of the fingers, except the thumb, within the loop.

    • Then use your index fingers to guide the floss through the lower teeth. Use your thumbs to guide the floss through the upper teeth. 

    • Go below the gum line, bending it to form a C on the side of each tooth.

Fluoride is a naturally occurring mineral that helps prevent tooth decay. It can be put on the teeth. Or it can be found in the water supply or taken as a supplement. It also strengthens tooth enamel, and reduces the harmful effects of plaque. Dentists can recommend fluoride supplements, if necessary.

When your child comes to the dentist every six months, they will also receive a concentrated fluoride treatment to keep their teeth strong.