There have been so many changes in all of our lives recently but one thing that has really helped me hold it together has been sticking to some of my regular routines. Cooking at mealtimes, reading before bed, washing sheets and towels on the weekends, and, of course, brushing and flossing each day. All this extra time at home presents an opportunity for us to improve our oral hygiene routine but can also encourage some cavity forming habits so we want to make sure you’re prepared. We’ve compiled some tips and advice to help.
Daily brushing with a fluoridated toothpaste helps to prevent cavities from forming but our regular oral hygiene practices are often hurried and chaotic so this extra time at home might give us a chance to improve our brushing skills. For children who are brushing independently, this might be a good chance to check in on their technique and verify that they are adhering to brushing guidelines. Speaking of guidelines, here are some of our favorite ones for oral hygiene:
- Brush with a fluoridated toothpaste on a soft-bristled toothbrush for 2 minutes 2x per day.
- For children who cannot yet tie their shoes or write their name between two lines parent-aided brushing is recommended.
- The ideal time to brush is 30min after breakfast and before bedtime.
- After brushing try to avoid eating or drinking for 30min including water.
- Floss once per day.
One potential challenge with all this time at home is constant access to the kitchen and pantry. We know that kids who snack or graze throughout the day tend to get more cavities. This gives us one more reason to maintain those daily schedules and eat three regular meals. Of course kids will be hungry throughout the day but limiting eating to 5 discrete times per day (including 3 meals) seems to be the magic number to help prevent cavities from forming.
- Limit snacks (2 or fewer per day)
- Reduce refined carbohydrates
- Increase veggies, nuts, cheese, and meat
- Drink water with meals and snacks
- Avoid juice and sugar sweetened beverages
We are so looking forward to seeing you back in our office but in the meantime if you find you have dental questions or concerns we’re happy to discuss via phone or video chat. If your child experiences severe pain, facial swelling, or fractured teeth please call our office immediately as these conditions may require a more urgent visit to our office. You may also want to refer to the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry’s website which provides an excellent reference regarding common dental conditions in children.
Our team is working hard to prepare the office for your return and we can’t wait to see your beautiful smiles again. Hard as it may be in this time of uncertainty, we hope that you will find joy and comfort in this time with your family and know that we will be excited to care for your children and help to make them feel safe at comfortable at our office.