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At Home Care

Preventing tooth decay with routine checkups and proper home care

Tooth decay results from the accumulation of sugars exposed to the teeth, subsequently eroding tooth enamel over time. Children are prone to tooth decay because of their thinner enamel layer and less consistent oral hygiene habits. Establishing regular brushing and flossing routines, along with regular dental visits, is essential for preventing tooth decay. It's recommended that children undergo dental cleanings and checkups every six months.

It is recommended that your child undergo dental cleanings and checkups every six months. Fluoride treatments are suggested twice yearly during these visits to bolster tooth strength. Additionally, tooth sealants are advised as they effectively seal deep grooves in your child's teeth, safeguarding against decay in the deep grooves of teeth. While sealants typically last for several years, they are routinely assessed during your child's regular checkups to ensure optimal protection against decay.

Adopting early oral hygiene habits

Preventive dental care is vital at all life stages, especially during childhood. By instilling good oral hygiene habits at home and attending regular dental checkups, your child can preserve a vibrant and healthy smile for years to come. Here are several good practices to maintain at home:

  • Make sure your child brushes their teeth at least twice a day with a soft-bristled toothbrush. Use fluoride toothpaste to remove food particles and plaque from the tooth surfaces. Also be sure your child brushes the top surface of the tongue; this will remove any extra plaque-causing food particles and help keep their breath fresh!
  • Make sure your child cleans between teeth by flossing at least once a day. You can also use a mouthwash to help kill bacteria and freshen breath. Decay-causing bacteria can linger between teeth where toothbrush bristles can't reach. Floss and mouthwash will help remove plaque and food particles from between the teeth and under the gum line.
  • Make sure your child eats a balanced diet, and try to avoid extra-sugary treats. Nutritious foods such as raw vegetables, plain yogurt, cheese, or fruit can help keep your child's smile healthy.
  • Remember to schedule regular checkups with your child’s dentist every six months for a professional teeth cleaning.
  • Ask your dentist about dental sealants, a protective plastic coating that can be applied to the chewing surfaces of the back teeth where decay often starts.
  • If your child plays sports, be sure to ask your dentist about special mouthguards designed to protect your child’s smile.

Printable instructions >

Brushing Instructions
  • brushing diagram

    Brushing: Step 1

    Place your toothbrush at a 45-degree angle to your gum.

  • brushing diagram

    Brushing: Step 2

    Gently brush in a circular motion.

  • brushing diagram

    Brushing: Step 3

    Brush the outside, inside and chewing surfaces of each tooth.

  • brushing diagram

    Brushing: Step 4

    Brush the inner surface of your front teeth using the tip of your toothbrush.

Flossing Instructions
  • flossing diagram

    Flossing: Step 1

    Wrap approximately 18 inches of floss around your fingers, with most of it wrapped around one finger and the other finger taking it up as you use the floss.

  • flossing diagram

    Flossing: Step 2

    Guide about one inch of floss between your teeth using your thumbs and forefingers.

  • flossing diagram

    Flossing: Step 3

    Hold the floss tightly and gently saw it between your teeth. Next, curve the floss into a C-shape against one tooth and gently slide it beneath your gums.

  • flossing diagram

    Flossing: Step 4

    Slide the floss upwards and downwards, repeating this process for each tooth.

If it’s been six months  since your child’s last dental cleaning and exam, then it’s time to contact our Colorado Springs pediatric dental practice and schedule an appointment!

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