Oral Hygiene BasicsWatertown, MA
While regularly brushing one's teeth can keep teeth healthy, there is a specific way to brush one's teeth for a more beneficial effect. In fact, there are several oral hygiene basics to boost oral health. Children can especially benefit from these basics. Oral hygiene basics involve a professional dentist reviewing the various methods and techniques a patient can complete at home for healthy teeth.
Oral hygiene basics are offered at Pediatric Dental Arts in Watertown, MA and the surrounding area. Dr. Raffa focuses on preventive care and will take the time to get to know each of our patients before customizing a treatment plan for their oral health. Proper dental care in children's teeth will set the groundwork for a healthy set of permanent adult teeth in the future.
The first step is to call us at 617-924-1911 today and schedule an appointment for your child.
Seek Dental Checkups Twice per Year
We can help children take care of their teeth by being proactive in steps to prevent cavities, infections and gum disease. We recommend that patients visit our dental office for a teeth cleaning twice per year. This way, we can remove plaque buildup and tartar, keeping the child's mouth healthy and clean.
In the meantime, here are some helpful oral hygiene basics that can be applied at home to keep your child's mouth healthy:
Proper Tooth Brushing Technique
As a Watertown dentist, we know that a patient's technique for brushing their teeth is just as important as how often they brush their teeth. It is essential for your child to use a soft toothbrush that will not irritate the gums or cause the enamel on the teeth to erode. As long as your child brushes correctly, a soft toothbrush will work equally well without damaging the teeth.
Be sure your child brushes in a circular pattern, starting at the gum line and working toward the center of the mouth. This will move food particles, bacteria and plaque away from your child's gum line. Your child should brush his or her teeth in quadrants, being sure to brush each section for at least 30 seconds with a small amount of pressure. Using fluoride toothpaste will also provide additional protection from cavities for your child.
We recommend that your child brushes twice per day – in the morning and before bed. Brushing the teeth at least twice a day will keep a child's mouth clean without causing irritation from over-brushing. Additionally, be sure to buy a new toothbrush every three months or sooner if the bristles are frayed.
Flossing is Essential for Teeth and Gums
At Pediatric Dental Arts, we remind parents/guardians of our patients that it is critical to floss daily. If you live in the local area, we invite you to schedule an appointment so that we can clean your child's teeth. While a regular brushing schedule can help keep a child's teeth clean, our staff can remove the plaque and bacteria from the hard to reach places.
Afterward with our instruction, your child can maintain daily flossing habits at home to help remove plaque from in between the teeth. Plaque that remains on the teeth can lead to gum disease. Gum disease occurs when plaque forms underneath the gum line, partially due to a lack of flossing. Incorporating healthy home care practices will maintain a healthy mouth for a growing child.
Selecting the Right Mouthwash
When your child uses mouthwash, it is important to be sure that it is sugar-free and alcohol-free. Mouthwash that contains fluoride will help to kill any lingering bacteria and strengthen your child's teeth. If possible, have your child use mouthwash to rinse his or her mouth out after meals, drinking a soda or consuming large amounts of sugary food. By taking this simple step, your child can reduce the risk of cavities and gum disease. When you visit our office, ask about a mouthwash that is right for your child.
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Preventing Tooth Decay
Dr. Raffa helps patients prevent tooth decay with a combination of proper oral hygiene basics at home and professional dental cleanings at least twice per year. Tooth decay forms when plaque is left on the teeth and the acid inside of the plaque eats away at the outer shell of the teeth, known as the enamel. Keeping teeth clean by removing plaque, therefore, prevents tooth decay.
Simultaneously, at home, your child can continue to brush your teeth and floss after meals. Water can assist in removing some of the loose food particles or sugar that may be on your child's teeth. Eating a well balanced healthy diet will also contribute to a healthy mouth
Fluoride Treatment and Selecting the Right Toothbrush
At our dental office, we recommend a fluoride treatment twice a year with routine check-up. Fluoride can help to reduce the risk of getting cavities and help prevent tooth decay. The procedure itself only takes a couple of minutes. It is one of the easiest ways to prevent cavities.
We recommend that your child uses a toothbrush for three months and then replace it. When purchasing a toothbrush, look for a soft one that will not irritate your child's gums or erode the enamel. Otherwise, we suggest a battery operated or electric toothbrush since they can clean your child's teeth more efficiently.
The toothbrush head rotates while your child moves the brush around, helping to break up more plaque for the cleanest possible teeth. We can help determine which type of toothbrush will be the most effective choice for the child during an appointment.
Food and Drinks to Avoid
As a pediatric dental office, we recommend that your child avoids drinking too much soda, juice, coffee or anything that contains a lot of sugar. Your child should also stay away from excess sweets, desserts and particularly sour candy. Acidic fruit is also bad for your child's teeth. A diet high in sugar and starch can even help bacteria grow. When your child eats highly acidic foods, it can lead to enamel erosion.
At Pediatric Dental Arts, we recommend that your child's diet consist of more green leafy vegetables, lean protein, dairy and nuts. These types of foods can help to remineralize and strengthen your child's teeth. For more tips on how your child can follow a mouth-healthy diet, call 617-924-1911 and schedule an appointment to speak with Dr. Raffa.
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