The COVID-19 coronavirus outbreak has made it difficult for a lot of parents to take their kids to see their pediatric dentist. Many offices are closed for routine, preventive care, and will only see kids for serious dental emergencies and critical dental care.
So how are you supposed to keep your child’s teeth healthy if you can’t see your dentist for teeth cleanings and oral exams, and preventive care like fluoride treatments? We want to give you some of our top tips:
1. Maintain A Great Brushing Routine
Firstly and most importantly, make sure your brushing routine is in good shape. Whether your kids are brushing on their own, or they’re younger and you’re still brushing their teeth for them, their teeth must be brushed for two minutes per day, twice per day.
We recommend brushing once in the morning after breakfast, and once at night after their final meal of the day. If you want, you could even brush three times a day to ensure you minimize the buildup of cavity-causing bacteria and acid.
2. Make Sure To Floss Once Per Day
You’ll need to floss your child’s teeth for them until they’re about 10 years old, since it can be quite hard for kids to learn how to floss on their own. If you really want to keep your children’s teeth healthy, this is a very important step. Brushing alone will clean about 60% of the surfaces of your child’s teeth, and flossing is necessary to clean the remaining 40% of the teeth.
Not sure how to floss your child’s teeth properly? Take a look at this video guide to learn the basics. When your child is old enough to try it for themselves, you’ll be able to teach them the proper technique.
3. Minimize Consumption Of Processed And Unhealthy Snacks & Foods
Snacks like fruit gummies, chips, cookies and candy should be limited to special treats. For regular daily snacking, we recommend fresh fruits and vegetables, cheese, peanuts, multi-grain crackers, and other healthy alternatives. Avoid juice and soda in favor of milk and water.
Why? Because very sugary and starchy foods provide the bacteria in your child’s mouth with plenty of food particles to eat, which increases levels of oral acid and can contribute to tooth decay.
4. Drink A Glass Of Water Or Rinse After Eating Sugary Foods
When your child does have a special treat, drinking a glass of water or having them rinse their mouth with water or mouthwash can help them remove food particles from their mouths and minimize the risk of cavities.
5. Have 1 or 2 “Snack Times” Instead Of Snacking Throughout The Day
Beyond your child’s meals, you should only have one or possibly two “snack times” per day. This is better than giving your child small snacks throughout the day. Frequent, all-day snacking causes oral bacteria to build up faster than their saliva can wash it away.
In contrast, eating larger snacks in one sitting ensures that bacterial buildup is minimized, and helps fight back against cavities.
Follow These Tips To Keep Your Child’s Mouth Healthy And Strong
You may not be able to see your child’s pediatric dentist, but with these tips, you can still make sure their teeth are strong and healthy. So follow these tips, and see Dr. Julie Hantson as soon as you can for a routine teeth cleaning and preventive care. To see if we’re accepting patients and check our office hours, you can give us a call at (781) 205-1124.