October 17, 2016
Your child just asked you something, but you couldn’t really understand it. The rubber mask they are wearing completely muffled what they said. You never thought you’d be intently listening to anything with fangs and blood running down its face. They’re probably asking if they can trick-or-treat one more house. You look at their candy bag that is already overflowing and you need to take a moment. All that candy is eventually going to be eaten, and that can really do a number on their teeth. Cavities might seem inevitable this season, but your family dentist in The Woodlands, TX has a few tips to help you keep your child healthy this holiday.
1. Brushing Basics
Would it surprise you to know that most adults do not brush their teeth correctly? You can only imagine what this means for children. Brushing is an essential part of breaking up plaque and preventing cavities. Here are a few details that will help save your children, and maybe you, time in the dentist’s chair:
- Brush at least twice a day, once in the morning and once at night
- Brush at least 2 minutes at a time
- Make sure to brush the front, back, and sides of every tooth
- Use a slight circular motion when brushing
- Brush the tongue for fresh breath
Twice a day is plenty to keep teeth heathy. Brushing 3 times a day or more is not only inconvenient, but also can actually start to damage teeth. Put on a timer or a short song to ensure that they are brushing for the right amount of time. That way you don’t need to keep an eye on them and watch the clock. You do, however, need to make sure that they are brushing every part of every tooth, as the back teeth often get missed. A slight circular motion breaks up plaque better than simply scrubbing back and forth. A little bit of brushing on the tongue can help keep their breath fresh and even give them a little tickle. Multiple colors of toothbrushes can help maintain consistency by giving them a “choice” when brushing their teeth. You can ask them something like, “Do you want to brush with the green one or the blue one?”
2. Frequent Flossing
Flossing is able to reach parts of the teeth that brushing simply cannot. The areas between your teeth make up near 40% of their surface. Here are a few tips for flossing:
- Use 12-18 inches of floss every time
- Wrap the ends around the pointer fingers to create some tension
- Floss between each tooth
- Don’t use too much force
Flossing can take less than a minute, so many children will be able to maintain it if they do it first. Once again, make sure they get between each tooth and even behind the back teeth. Also be sure that they aren’t using too much force; it shouldn’t take too much effort to move the floss between their teeth.
3. Don’t Forget Us!
Regular check-ups and cleanings from your children’s dentist in The Woodlands, TX are the final parts of any complete dental hygiene regimen. This enables us at Bear Branch Family Dentistry to clean areas they can’t reach at home, as well as catch any small dental issues before they become more trouble. These visits are also the perfect time to discuss their home dental care routine, as some children are more apt to listen to the dentist. That way you can come up with an easy to follow plan that will keep you all healthy and happy.
Have Any Questions?
If you want to know more about how to keep cavities away during this Halloween season, please give us a call. We’d love to answer your questions and give you any tips on how to teach your children to take care of their teeth. Have a safe and happy Halloween, and keeping brushing your teeth!
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