- Begin brushing once the first baby tooth comes in (simply wiping with a washcloth can be enough at first). If your baby has nursed at will or taken a bottle to bed, talk to us about the effect milk has on newly erupting teeth.
- Mom or Dad should be brushing once daily, preferably at night with the introduction of a “smear” of fluoridated toothpaste. Begin flossing any teeth that touch one another.
- Mom or Dad should supervise the nightly brushing from first through second grade and flossing should be a regular part of daily care.
- Depending on the amount of orthodontic work, several additional techniques and devices can assist the child with braces, for example, proxy brushes and water picks.
Diet (include snacking)
Some things that you can do to help minimize the exposure:
- Water only to drink between meals
- Sit at the table for snack time with a set time limit
- Encourage healthy snacking as an overall part of a healthy diet, for example: cheese, whole fruits (not fruit snacks), yogurt
- Brush after snacking if possible
Preteens/Teens – They often stay up later than their parents, snacking late at night, and do not always make the best choices for their snacking. Many choose sodas, energy drinks or sports drinks, and high carbohydrate “junk food”. Another poor hygiene habit is not always brushing before bed. These choices can lead to a higher rate of decay. In fact, the decade of 15-25 years of age is the highest for incidence of tooth decay.
Making healthy choices is an important part of minimizing the chance of tooth decay. Not snacking late at night is a good choice, as is making sure to brush before bed. Healthy food and beverage choices should be encouraged in this age group. It may help your child if you do not have certain foods in your home, as you may not always be present when they are eating.