Tooth decay (cavities) is one of the most common chronic conditions of childhood in the United States. Untreated tooth decay can cause pain and infections that may lead to problems with eating, speaking, playing, and learning.
The good news is that tooth decay is preventable. Fluoride varnish, a high concentration fluoride coating that is painted on teeth, can prevent about one-third (33%) of decay in the primary (baby) teeth. Children living in communities with fluoridated tap water have fewer decayed teeth than children who live in areas where their tap water is not fluoridated. Similarly, children who brush daily with fluoride toothpaste will have less tooth decay.
Keep Healthy Teeth with the 2-2-2 Rule
Help keep your child’s teeth healthy by using the 2-2-2 rule: visit your dentist two times a year, and brush and floss TWO times a day for TWO whole minutes!
How Do You Get Kids to Brush Their Teeth?
Our pediatric dentists recommend parents follow the “tell, show, do” model:
- Tell: In age-appropriate language, explain how to brush and floss and how those actions keep teeth clean and healthy
- Show: Let children watch when mom or dad brush and floss their own teeth.
- Do: Help children brush and floss their teeth in the morning and before bed, and keep a regular routine so they know it’s expected. Continue helping to brush a child’s teeth until age 4 or 5. After that, let them do it themselves, but supervise them until age 7 or 8. both children and adults should brush for two minutes, twice a day.
Oral Hygiene: the Importance of Brushing and Flossing
Your oral health can offer clues about your overall health or that problems in your mouth can affect the rest of your body? Like many areas of the body, your mouth is teeming with bacteria. Typically, the body’s natural defenses and good oral hygiene can keep these bacteria under control. However, if you don’t remove the bacteria daily with brushing and flossing, it can cause cavities or gum disease.
Your health and safety Matters!