Let’s Talk About Teeth!

Healthy teeth are an important part of a healthy body.  Spending a few minutes each day taking care of your teeth keeps your smile beautiful and your body happy.

Did you know?

Children who visit the dentist before they are four years old are less likely to need dental procedures (crown placement, restorations, tooth removal) compared with children who start seeing the dentist at a later age.

 

Keep Those Pearly Whites Shining Bright

  • Clean teeth twice daily with a soft toothbrush
  • Brush for two minutes each time (sing the ABCs in your head three times!)
  • Start flossing once per day as soon as teeth begin to touch
  • Parents should supervise brushing until at least kids are able to tie their shoes

A word about fluoride:

  • Use fluoride-containing toothpaste for all children with teeth – For children less than three years, use an amount the size of a grain of rice. For children over three, use an amount the size of a pea!
  • Most of the water in the Spokane area is non-fluoridated, consider a fluoride supplement – ask your doctor!
  • Have fluoride painted on your teeth as often as recommended by your dentist or doctor

Watch What You Eat – Your Teeth Are Counting On It!

  • Frequent snacking and sugary beverages during the day may increase the risk of dental decay
    • If you plan on snacking on sugar-containing drink (soda/juice/sports drink), drink it within a limited time instead of slowly sipping during the day
    • Try to give your mouth a three hour break between sugary foods/drinks
  • After sugary foods and beverages try rinsing your mouth with water or chewing sugarless gum
  • Watch out for: hard candy, gummy candy/vitamins, cough drops, fruit leathers

A Moment for the Young Ones:

  • The first tooth usually appears around six months of age
  • Think about scheduling the first dental visit at the one year birthday
  • Start a training cup (sippy cup) at six months. Plan to ditch all bottles by one year

Factors that increase the risk of developing dental decay:

  • Bottle use beyond 12 months of age
  • Using a sippy cup throughout the day (especially for juice/sugary drinks)
  • Exposure to secondhand smoke
  • Using a bottle at bed time
  • Breastfeeding past 12 months if nursing overnight

By Dr. Baca, MD