Preventive dental care is important throughout life, especially at a young age. By practicing good oral hygiene at home and scheduling regular checkups with the dentist, your child can help keep her smile bright and healthy for many years to come. Here are a few simple ways to prevent the build-up of plaque and cavities:
- Make sure your child brushes their teeth at least twice a day with a soft-bristled toothbrush. Use fluoride toothpaste (fluoride-free before age four) to remove food particles and plaque from the tooth surfaces.
- Make sure your child cleans between her teeth by flossing at least once a day. Food debris can linger between teeth where toothbrush bristles can't reach.
- Minimize sugary snacks and drinks. Limit these to 1-2 per day and be sure your child isn't exposing their teeth to sugar all day long (sipping on sugary drinks, hard candies, gum, etc.).
- Remember to schedule regular checkups with your child's dentist every six months.
- Ask your dentist about dental sealants, a protective 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.