Hygiene and Diet

We are happy to help with diet recommendations, as well as brushing and flossing techniques for your child. There are different recommendations for various ages! We are happy to make recommendations specific to your child at your visit. Here are some general tips:

HOW PARENTS CAN HELP

  • Your child will value their health and teeth in the way that you value yours.
  • Have good oral hygiene and maintain dental care. Avoid sugars and acidic drinks.
  • Your child is likely to eat what you eat and drink and what is available to them in their home.
  • Focus on the positives of each visit and try not share your personal fears or negative feelings about going to the dentist.
  • Be aware, caregivers can transfer their bacteria to infants by sharing utensils or straws.

ORAL HYGIENE RECOMMENDATIONS

  • Parents and caregivers should help with brushing and flossing until at least age 8 (AAPD).
  • Plaque and acid cause cavities. Plaque forms from bacteria and food. It must be brushed off the teeth.
  • Brush 2X/day for 2 min with a soft bristled toothbrush, AM and PM (before bed). Floss every night before bed.
  • Replace your toothbrush or electric brush head every 3-4 months or sooner if your child has been sick.
  • We and the AAPD recommend using fluoridated toothpaste.
  • A smear or rice size amount on the toothbrush for ages 0-3, a pea size amount on the toothbrush for ages 3-6 is recommended.

BEST DIET CHOICES

  • Avoid acids and sugar!
  • Anything sipped on throughout the day (or night), other than water, will cause cavities. Do not allow your child to sip on juice, pop, sports drinks, lemonade, sweet tea, juice, etc.
  • Staying hydrated is critical to overall health. Not all beverages keep us hydrated, some can speed up dehydration (such as pop). Kids age 6 and up should aim to drink at least 8 glasses of water per day.
  • Sports drinks may keep your body hydrated; however, if they contain sugar, they can also cause cavities.
  • Sugar in pop combines with bacteria in your mouth to form acid, which attacks the teeth. Even diet or sugar-free soda contains acid.
  • There is no nutritional value in drinking more than 4-6 ounces of juice per day. That is one cup! (AAP and AAPD)
  • Healthy snack ideas are whole fruits, vegetables, low sugar full-fat yogurt, milk, cheese, applesauce, mixed nuts.
  • Avoid sweets, frequent starchy snacks (crackers) and sticky treats (“fruit” snacks, raisins, gummy vitamins!).
  • Sugar-free gum is beneficial for the teeth. We recommend gum that contains Xylitol.

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