Nobody Wants Cavities So Prevent Them
The importance of brushing after every meal has long been documented as important to keeping your teeth and gums clean and healthy. But equally important is to make sure that all of the teeth are brushed as well as all of the surfaces of the teeth. The front, behind and biting surfaces all require proper attention. Until your child can use a knife and fork by themselves they will need your assistance with brushing. Remember a toothbrush and toothpaste are only as good as they are used. Do not rush when you brush!!
We prefer a motorized brush over the age of 5, especially the new Sonicare for Kids. This has a built in timer and the sonic vibrations help to dislodge and clean the most efficent of all the brushes. Teenagers can use the adult model Sonicare.
Rotating brushes are also acceptable, but need more co-ordination for proper use. Slight pressure should be exerted on each tooth individually in order for the bristles to splay and clean more efficiently between the teeth and along the gum line.
Always use soft bristles manual brushes and angle the bristles along the gum line at 45 degrees,up for the up teeth and angled down for the down teeth. Gently stroke back and forth with a sweeping motion. We would like to stress 2 X 2. Two minutes, two times a day! especially after breakfast and dinner/dessert. And don't forget: do not rush when you brush!!
For children over the age of 5 who can swish and spit we recommend a fluoride containing mouth rinse, ideally right before bed time. This is extremely important for our patients with a history of decay as well as for all of our patients with braces on. The fluoride helps protect between the teeth as well as around all of the extra surface area that braces add to the smooth surfaces of the teeth.
Once the posterior teeth are in contact bacteria, plaque and food debris can lodge between the teeth. That is when flossing becomes important. For normal care and prevention once a week should suffice. In patients with history of decay two or three times a week may be indicated.