Personal home care starts with your child eating healthy, balanced meals, reducing the number of snacks he/she eats, limiting the consumption of sugary foods and drinks, and correctly using the various dental aids that help control plaque and bacteria that cause dental disease.
Tooth brushing – Your child needs to brush his/her teeth at least twice a day (especially before going to bed at night) with an American Dental Association (ADA) approved soft bristle brush and toothpaste. Children 8 years old and younger will need help brushing to ensure they properly and sufficiently clean their teeth, gums, and tongue.
Place the brush at a 45-degree angle to the gums and gently brush using a small, circular motion, ensuring that the bristles are always felt on the gums.
Brush the outer, inner, and biting surfaces of each tooth.
Use the tip of the brush to clean the inside of the front teeth.
Brush the tongue to remove bacteria and freshen breath.
Electric toothbrushes may also be used. They are easy to use and can remove plaque efficiently. Simply place the bristles of the electric brush on the gums and teeth and allow the brush to do its job, several teeth at a time.
Flossing – Daily flossing is the best way to clean between the teeth and under the gumline. Flossing not only helps clean these spaces, it disrupts plaque colonies from building up, preventing damage to the gums, teeth, and bone.
Take 12-16 inches of dental floss and wrap it around the middle fingers, leaving about 2 inches of floss between the hands.
Using the thumbs and forefingers to guide the floss, gently insert the floss between teeth using a sawing motion.
Curve the floss into a “C” shape around each tooth and under the gumline. Gently move the floss up and down, cleaning the side of each tooth.
Floss holders are recommended if you or your child have difficulty using conventional floss.
Rinsing – It is important that your child rinse his/her mouth with water after brushing and after meals if he/she is unable to brush.
If you have questions about whether other dental aids are recommended, such as mouth wash, interdental brushes, rubber tip stimulators, tongue cleaners, irrigation devices, fluoride, medicated rinses, etc., please contact our office at 517-393-8500.
Day Family Dental
Dr. Nathan Day, DMD • Dentist • Lansing, MI