Home and Preventive Care

Preventive dental care is important throughout life, especially at a young age. By practicing good oral hygiene at home, good diet habits, 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: 

  • Even before your baby's first tooth appears, we recommend you clean his gums after feedings with a damp, soft washcloth. As soon as his first tooth appears, you can start usuing a toothbrush. Choose a toothbrush with soft bristles and a small head. You most likely can find a toothbrush designed for infants at your local drugstore.
  • Make sure your child brushes her 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 she brushes the top surface of her tongue; this will remove any extra plaque-causing food particles and help keep her breath fresh!
  • Make sure your child cleans between her teeth by flossing at least once a day. You can also use a mouthwash to help kill bacteria and freshen her 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 or starchy 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

    Brush gently in a circular motion.

  • brushing diagram

    Brushing: Step 3

    Brush the outer, inner, and chewing surfaces of each tooth and surrounding gums.

  • brushing diagram

    Brushing: Step 4

    Use the tip of your brush for the inner surface of your front teeth.

Flossing Instructions
  • flossing diagram

    Flossing: Step 1

    Wind about 18 inches of floss around your fingers as shown. Most of it should be wrapped around one finger, and the other finger takes it up as the floss is used.

  • flossing diagram

    Flossing: Step 2

    Use your thumbs and forefingers to guide about one inch of floss between your teeth.

  • flossing diagram

    Flossing: Step 3

    Holding the floss tightly, gently saw it between your teeth. Then 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 up and down, repeating for each tooth.

 
 

If it’s been six months or more since your child’s last dental checkup, then it’s time to contact our practice and schedule an appointment!