Now that our children are going back to school in Homestead, FL, it’s imperative to not forget some simple hygiene tips in order to keep them healthy. Building good personal hygiene habits can happen simply if parents start teaching their children at a young age, the sooner the better. Here is what we recommend from Florida City Dental:
1. Twice a Day Brushing
One of the biggest things that we notice people have a problem with is brushing twice a day for 2 minutes. Many of our patients brush regularly, but they only brush in the morning, when their morning breath makes them think of it!! Brushing at night is also very important because it removes plaque from the teeth before you go to sleep for six to nine hours. Allowing that plaque to stay on your teeth overnight is a great way to invite cavities. Teach your children to make brushing a part of their morning and night-time routines. Even set a simple “egg timer” in the bathroom to help your kids have an easy reminder of how long 2 minutes is.
How often do you floss? The American Dental Association recommends once a day, before bedtime. Like brushing twice a day, not many people keep up with their flossing. Flossing is important because it cleans between the teeth, removing plaque that an ordinary toothbrush will not reach. It is never too early to start teaching your children how to floss, as this is a habit that will benefit them for a lifetime ahead.
3. Rinse with Mouthwash After Brushing
In addition to brushing and flossing, it is never too early to start teaching your children how to properly use mouthwash. As long as a child is old enough to predictably spit the rinse into the sink and not swallow it, mouthwash can be a very helpful product for better oral health and better breath. This will help freshen their breath as well as kill any germs missed by brushing or flossing.
4. Brush or Rinse After Eating
The simplest way to avoid cavities is to brush and rinse often. If you never allow time for plaque to manifest itself, then it will never turn into a cavity. Teach your children to brush or at least rinse out their mouth with water after eating a snack or meal at school. Many foods that children consume are filled with sugars that will cause the teeth to wear down unless they brush regularly after eating.
5. Replace Toothbrush Often, Store It In Sanitary Location
Have you smelled your toothbrush lately? Many times, our busy lives will get in the way and we forget to perform simple maintenance tasks like changing our toothbrush. It is very important to remember to do this because you don’t want to keep using the same germy toothbrush past its lifespan. That would be like never washing the dish cloths they use to wipe down tables or clean dishes at restaurants. It is important to replenish with a fresh toothbrush once every two to three months. Additionally, it is also important to know where to store the toothbrush. Teach your children to place their toothbrush in an upright position in a cup or stand of some kind. Placing it back in a cabinet or drawer will not allow it to dry out completely, and can foster mold or bacteria growth. Try to find a stand or cup with a cover that allows for air circulation, not cutting it off from air completely, but enough to make sure the toothbrush stays safe from bathroom germs. For extra protection, consider purchasing an ultraviolet (UV) sanitizer to place the toothbrush in while it’s not in use.
Feel free to make an appointment for your child at our Homestead, FL dentist office today or by calling (305) 242-5777.