Our pediatric dentists and team at OneDent Kids take special care to provide children with education and instructions that will help them develop healthy habits for life. Our preventive dentistry program in Purchase, New York, is designed to help children enjoy healthy smiles throughout their entire life, and focuses on oral hygiene instruction, diet analysis, and oral habits. We welcome you to contact us at 914-750-4376 to learn more about preventive pediatric dentistry and to make your child’s appointment with OneDent Kids.
Oral Hygiene Instruction
Oral Hygiene plays a critical role in setting a lifetime of good habits and preventing cavities for children. Children should brush their teeth two times daily and floss one time daily.
Shortly after birth, gently clean an infant’s gums with a moist soft cloth or infant tooth brush. After every feeding, wipe the baby’s gum tissue to remove residual food. As your child’s teeth erupt, gently brush them with a child’s size soft toothbrush and water. Brush the teeth of children over the age of 2 with a pea-sized amount of toothpaste. To ensure optimal brushing effectiveness, it is important to assist your child with brushing and flossing at least until 8 years old when they have better manual dexterity.
Hold the brush at an angle (45 degrees) towards teeth and gums. Move brush back and forth with short strokes.
- Brush the inside and outside surfaces of each tooth, top and bottom
- Hold the brush flat on top of the teeth and brush the chewing surfaces
- Floss between teeth daily
Some suggestions for making tooth brushing less of a battle can include:
- Establish a “tooth brushing routine”
- Allow your child to watch you brush your teeth or brush together at the same time
- Let your child pick out a toothbrush with a favorite character
- Allow your child to brush his or her own teeth first (and then you get a turn)
- Read some children’s books about tooth brushing
The pediatric dentists at OneDent Kids can help you assess your child’s diet to make sure it is safe for their teeth. Be sure your children have a balanced diet. A diet high in certain kinds of carbohydrates, such as sugar and starches, may place your child at extra risk for tooth decay. Check how frequently they eat foods with sugar or starch in them. Foods with starch include breads, crackers, pasta and snacks, such as pretzels and potato chips. Save foods with starches/sugars for meal times. Limit the number of snack times and choose nutritious snacks. Do not put your infant to bed with milk, formula, or juice in the bottle.
Oral habits, such as pacifier and thumb or finger sucking, are very common in children. Sucking is a natural reflex, and babies and young children often suck on their fingers or other objects because it provides them with a feeling of security. Some infants even start sucking their fingers or thumbs before they are born! Young children learn by using their senses, and often explore the world around them by touching or mouthing various objects.
Most children will stop sucking between the ages of 2 and 4. Thumb sucking habits should be completely stopped by the time permanent front teeth are ready to erupt. If the habit persists, it can cause damage to the upper front teeth and problems in the growth and development of your child’s mouth, jaw, and tooth alignment, and may result in the need for early orthodontic treatment. The effects of finger sucking will depend on the frequency, intensity, duration, and natural of the habit. Aggressive sucking will cause much more damage than children who passively rest their fingers in their mouths.
If you have questions about finger sucking habits, please bring them up with our pediatric dentist when you visit our practice. We will be able to provide you with suggestions and ideas on how to break your child of this habit.
Fluoride is a naturally occurring mineral that is provided as a preventive treatment. This treatment is provided topically, and strengthens children’s teeth to prevent, slow, or halt cavities and tooth decay. Although fluoride cannot completely prevent tooth decay, it is one of the best treatments available for preventing cavities when provided in conjunction with proper brushing and flossing, regular dental visits, and a healthy diet. Depending on your child’s current level of exposure, our Pediatric Dentists may recommend regular Fluoride treatments as part of ongoing preventative care.
BPA-Free Dental Sealants
Sealants are a thin, clear coating that is applied to the deep grooves on the chewing surfaces of the teeth, usually on the back teeth (molars) where it is more difficult for children to brush. Our pediatric dentists provide dental sealants to help children avoid developing cavities. In general, children are notoriously bad brushers, and tend to ignore or under-brush the problematic areas in the back of the mouth. Because of this, the American Dental Association recommends that children receive dental sealants as soon as their primary molars begin to erupt to help prevent tooth decay and cavities from developing.
Dental sealants work by filing in and smoothing out the pits and grooves on the teeth where food particles accumulate, literally “sealing out” food, plaque, and bacteria in the areas where children may have difficult brushing.
Children who play sports will benefit greatly from wearing a protective mouth guard. Pediatric dentists recommend sports mouth guards to help protect the soft tissues of the mouth, teeth, and jaw from injury, and to reduce the likelihood of jaw fractures and neck injuries. If your child participates in any kind of athletic activity, especially a high-contact sport, please contact our practice today to schedule an appointment with our dental professionals and have your child fitted for a custom sports mouth guard.
For more information on preventive children’s dentistry, and to make your child’s next appointment with our friendly pediatric dentists, please call OneDent Kids today at 914-996-7786.