At Knutson Family Dentistry we are committed to great oral health and and teaching our patients the importance of healthy oral hygiene habits. As soon as a child has their first tooth it is important to begin implementing the basics of good home care and begin laying a foundation for you child that will benefit them for the rest of their life. Brushing, flossing, getting flouride, and coming in for regular 6 month preventative dental care are the pillars of a sucessful oral hygiene regiment.
Brushing Get into the routine of brushing twice a day, once in the morning and once right before bed, and flossing daily. It is important that once you brush in the evening, you do not eat or drink anything else. Any other food or drink you put into your mouth will leave bacteria to sit all night while you sleep, making your teeth more susceptible to tooth decay. Use a soft, rounded-end bristle to brush. Place the brush at a 45 degree angle at the base of the tooth where the tooth meets the gums. Gently brush the tongue side and cheek side surfaces making small circles, and move to the chewing surfaces using back and forth strokes. Start in one quadrant of the mouth, brushing for 30 seconds, and move to the next quadrant. Effective brushing should take at least 2 full minutes. You can also choose to use an electric brush that does the technique sensitive work for you as well as timing the 30 seconds for each quadrant. Both Dr. Matt and Dr. Richard recommend the Sonicare line of electric brushes.
Flossing The second pillar of good oral hygiene is flossing. While most people do not like to floss and do not incorporate it into their daily routine, it is essential to make this a habit! There is no other way to remove the bacteria in your mouth from between your teeth other than flossing. Failing to remove this bacteria will result in decay forming on the in between surfaces of your teeth. The type of floss you choose to use is not the most important thing-- just doing it daily is what counts, so find one that you like! Cut off a piece 18 inches in length and wrap each end around each middle finger until you have a managable section of floss to work with. Slide your piece of floss between each tooth gently (try not to snap it down) and curve the section of floss into a C shape and work it down the whole length of each tooth.Move your floss between your fingers so that you have a fresh section for each in between space so that you do not transfer the germs from on tooth to the next, negating your hard work. There are two different surfaces to clean each time, so make sure you form your C shape on each tooth! You may also choose to use handled flossers using the same technique if you find them to be easier to use. Again, the type of floss is not important, just find one you like to use!
Flouride A third pillar to great oral hygiene habits is incorporating flouride into your daily routine. Make sure to select a flouride toothpaste to use daily and a mouthwash, such as the ACT brand, that contains flouride. For young children, be sure to select a child's toothpaste and follow the directions to avoid giving them too much flouride.
Incorporating these great oral hygiene habits early will set your children up for a lifetime of oral health and wellness! It's never too early or too late to begin these at home oral hygiene habits and be sure to maintain 6 month preventative appointments at your Dentist- starting as soon as your child has their first couple of teeth!