Teaching your child proper oral care at a young age is an investment in his or her health that will pay lifelong dividends. You can start by setting an example; taking good care of your own teeth sends a message that oral health is something to be valued. To help your children protect their teeth and gums and greatly reduce their risk of getting cavities, teach them to follow these simple steps:
- Brush twice a day with an ADA — accepted fluoride toothpaste to remove plaque-the sticky film on teeth that’s the main cause of tooth decay.
- Floss daily to remove plaque from between your teeth and under the gumline, before it can harden into tartar. Once tartar has formed, it can only be removed by a professional cleaning.
- Use dental products that contain fluoride, including toothpaste.
- Eat a well-balanced diet that limits starchy or sugary foods, which produce plaque acids that cause tooth decay.
- Make sure that your children’s drinking water is fluoridated. If your water supply; municipal, well or bottled does not contain fluoride, your dentist or pediatrician may prescribe daily fluoride supplements.
- Take your child to the dentist for regular checkups.