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Dental Hygiene Month: Tips for Keeping Your Child’s Mouth Clean

October is the month of changing colors and changing temperatures, but one thing that remains the same is the importance of pediatric dental hygiene! This year, October is recognized as Dental Hygiene month, and we’re here to make sure you have the knowledge to keep your child’s teeth and mouth in shape. Here are some good refreshers to talk to your kid(s) about for the best smile possible!

Use Proper Brushing Technique

It’s easy to let your children slide by with a lazy tooth brushing job. However, digging in to the nitty gritty and being thorough in your brushing is important in preventing cavities from forming. Be sure to use a soft-bristled toothbrush, using a gentle back and forth motion on the teeth. The insides of the front teeth can be particularly hard to reach; hold the toothbrush vertically to scrub out those spots where plaque likes to harbor. Lastly, don’t forget to brush your tongue! Both kids and adults forget that your tongue is a host to all sorts of bacteria. Don’t let a dirty tongue

Don’t Forget to Floss

Though the importance of flossing is common knowledge, many parents will forgo encouraging their kids to floss. After all, it can be hard enough to convince your kids to simply brush their teeth! Flossing becomes important as soon as your child has teeth that are positioned right next to each other. Using floss to keep the spaces between teeth clean is key to healthy oral hygiene as your child develops.

Rinse with a Kid-Friendly Mouthwash

Commonly recommended for kids above the age of six, using mouthwash can give an extra boost of fluoride to strengthen teeth. If your child is able to swish liquid in his/her mouth and then spit it out, chances are he/she is ready to try mouthwash. Multiple varieties of kid-friendly mouthwash are available in most grocery or convenience stores.

Avoid Excesses of Sugary Drinks and Snacks

A lot of kids are comforted when they go to sleep if given a bottle or sippy cup to keep throughout the night. Don’t make the mistake of filing that cup with sugary juice! If children get in the habit of consuming sugar throughout the night, it can cause tooth decay over a period of time. Prevent this from occurring by replacing juice with water, and avoid other sugary snacks around bedtime.

Des Moines Pediatric Dentistry

The Pediatric Dentistry of Central Iowa is committed to encouraging and maintaining healthy smiles for all of our patients. Talk to your dentist about healthy oral hygiene habits this month, or stop in for a routine dental visit!