National Children’s Dental Health Awareness Month: Kids’ Care 101
Teach Good Habits Early!
At Brookline Dental Specialists, we know that when children develop healthy eating and oral hygiene habits at a young age, they can continue those habits into the teenage years and even adulthood. The earlier the better in fact! As part of National Children’s Dental Health Month, we want to provide you with some insights and education that you can pass on to your children about proper oral care so they can start healthy, and stay healthy.
Healthy Habits at Home:
Brush twice a day, floss once a day, and replace your toothbrush every 3 months We replace the tires on our cars about every 50,000 miles so there is a good grip on the road and we stay safe. Did you know it is just as important to replace an old toothbrush to stay healthy? It all starts
with a good toothbrush. When we brush our children’s teeth twice a day, we are removing plaque and bacteria from their teeth and gums. Toothbrush bristles can also get frayed and flattened, which can reduce its ability to brush effectively. We recommend that you replace your family’s toothbrushes every 3 months.
We have a saying in dentistry: “Floss the teeth you want to keep!” Brushing cleans the part of your teeth you can see. But there is still plaque and bacteria beneath the gums and in between the teeth. It only takes an extra few seconds to floss your children’s teeth, and it will help prevent tooth decay caused by the food and bacteria that are not removed by brushing alone. And you only really need to floss once per day. The best time is at night just before bed. Teach your child to use floss picks too, it can also be a useful tool and can make it easy for children to floss on their own.
Conventional manual toothbrushes have always worked very well when used properly. What we now know is that scientific research studies reveal that electric toothbrushes are more effective at cleaning teeth than manual toothbrushes. What’s more important, there are many fun electric toothbrushes available to motivate your children to brush their teeth! Some have timers and make sounds and feature cartoon characters children recognize. Kids like their “toys” and what better toy to give them than one that will improve their health?
Preventive Care for Kids in the Office: Benefits of Fluoride and Sealants Treatment
Fluoride helps keep our teeth strong and prevents tooth decay. Although there is a small amount of fluoride in toothpaste, we provide a special fluoride treatment in our office that enhances the strength of your children’s teeth. Another exceptional treatment for children is to place a small sealant on the top of the molars (the back, chewing teeth). Sealants smooth the surface and can prevent food and bacteria from building up in those hard to reach back teeth.
Get Regularly Scheduled Cleanings
It is important to bring your children to our office and have their teeth professionally cleaned every six months. Our hygienists will clean your children’s teeth and doctors will do a thorough examination with x-rays to see any possible issues and treat them before they can develop into an oral health concern. These regular check-ups are also a good time for ongoing education with your children on brushing, flossing, and healthy eating habits.