Dentist Maple Grove MN | Dr. Michael Colbert would like to share the following dental health tips with parents of children and teens. The first thing you need to know is that teeth are really important. Even Baby Teeth!!! Don't give teeth the brush off!
Parents should help babies and toddlers with brushing and flossing their teeth, but even older children may not have the manual dexterity to properly clean their teeth. Here are some tips for establishing good dental habits:
For Children Under age 3
When teeth first emerge, brush your child's with a tiny amount of fluoride toothpaste at least twice daily. Our office recommends using about as much as a grain of rice on an infant size soft toothbrush. We also recommend that you begin flossing their teeth as soon as you have two teeth that touch.
For Children Ages 3 to 6
At about age 3-6, you will increase the amount of toothpaste that you use to about the size of a pea. Make sure that you are brushing your child's teeth, at least twice daily.
Make sure that you teach your child to spit, not swallow the toothpaste.
As your child gets older teach them how to brush by themselves, but be sure to supervise them. We want to teach them healthy habits from a young age!
For Children Ages 7 to 8
You will still want to continue to supervising your child's brushing. When you bring them in for their dental hygiene visit, we can show you how to use disclosing tablets at home. Disclosing tablets stain the plaque on the teeth, making it visible so that you can easily brush it away. It also makes it easy to show your child where they missed when they brush. At this point we will also show your child how to use a floss threader to make flossing easier.
For Your Pre-Teens and Teens
Our office recommends that they brush at least twice daily and floss at least once daily. Other really important advice would be to make sure they avoid sugary or starchy snacks which could make them much more prone to cavities. You also want to educate them on the dangers of smoking and chewing tobacco.
If your child plays sports, please make an appointment so that we can make them a custom fitting mouthguard. Dental injuries are very common during sporting activities and we want to make sure we minimize that. Store bought, over the counter mouth guards are NOT effective for this.
We also want to educate teens about the dangers of lip and tongue piercings. Infections and broken teeth are just some of the problems.
For ALL children and Teens (And Parents Too!!)
Be sure to see us here at Gentle Family Dental at least twice a year (or more often depending on your particular needs) for your professional Dental Hygiene Visit or Periodontal Maintenance Visit. At these very important visits we will do a thorough exam, check for tooth decay, gum disease, and oral cancer. One of our skilled hygienists will also professionally clean your teeth and give you a professional strength fluoride treatment to reduce your chances of any new cavities by as much as 70%. We are totally committed to both your oral health and your overall health.