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Pediatric dental care can make a big difference for your child’s smile today, and well into the future. Keep reading to get some simple tips on how to help your child develop healthy oral hygiene habits!

Proper dental care starts at home! Encourage your child to…

· Brush his teeth at least twice a day—specifically, in the morning and night before bed

· Brush for at least 2 minutes every time he brushes—keep a stopwatch by the sink, or play a song that is about 2 minutes long to help your child keep track of time!

· Use gentle circular motions to buff plaque off of his teeth—remind your child that applying more pressure does not equal a better clean; in fact, applying too much pressure can cause enamel thinning and gum tissue damage

· Floss once a day—the best time to floss is actually in the evening, right before you brush your teeth

· Floss between every single one of his teeth for optimal results

· Guide his floss down into his gum tissue in order to remove as much plaque as possible

Professional dental care complements your at-home efforts.

· Most dental patients—both children and adults—should complete professional dental cleanings every six months or so. This allows our dental team to clear away newly developed plaque and tartar in a timely fashion.

· Some children will benefit from additional preventive treatments, like sealants and topical fluoride treatments.

· Our dental team is here to reinforce all of the good work that you’re doing at home, and talk to your child about why oral health is so important! We can also review proper brushing and flossing techniques with them, and answer any questions that they may have.

As always, please feel free to reach out to our O’Fallon dentists to get more information about dental care for people of all ages!

Ready to take your flossing routine to the next level? Most people know that flossing can help to keep harmful oral plaque at bay; unfortunately, many adult and pediatric dental patients don’t keep up with flossing like they should. Our O’Fallon dentists encourage you to jump start your flossing routine and get back on track. Keep reading to get some helpful tips!

Know when to floss for best results

The American Dental Association recommends that patients floss once a day in order to minimize plaque accumulation. For best results, floss right before you brush your teeth at night; this allows you to dislodge as much bacteria and dental debris as possible before you buff it away.

Prevent cross contamination

When you start to floss, tear off a large strip of floss. Then, move down the strip of floss as you go from tooth to tooth. This will help to ensure that you do not accidentally compound bacterial plaque as you go from tooth to tooth.

Don’t skip days

Remember that plaque is accumulating every day and every night—plaque production is simply an unavoidable byproduct of daily life. It is very important for you to floss every day in order to stay on top of plaque accumulation

Be thorough

As you move your floss between your teeth, make sure to move the floss both vertically and from side to side; this helps you scrape away as much plaque as possible from your dental surfaces. Gently guide the floss down into your gum tissue in order to keep your gum tissue clean as well.

Even if it has been a long time since you have flossed regularly, you can get back on track! Our O’Fallon dentists are here to give you any additional information or guidance that you may need. Give us a call to get started!

The ingredients that are included in your oral hygiene products are there for a reason. Oral hygiene products are more effective than ever before precisely because manufacturers have been able to refine their formulas and combine the most useful ingredients together. Keep reading to learn more from our O’Fallon dentists about how various ingredients benefit your smile.

Fluoride

This is a big one! Fluoride is a key ingredient in many toothpastes and mouthwashes, and for good reason. This natural mineral actually helps to strengthen teeth and re-mineralize dental enamel. Fluoride has been shown to reduce instances of cavity development and dental damage. One key caveat: children who are young enough to swallow toothpaste should not use toothpastes with fluoride, as they may develop dental fluorosis.

Sodium Laurel Sulfate

This is a type of detergent that is regularly included in toothpastes. When you see your toothpaste foam and suds up as you clean your smile, this is sodium laurel sulfate going to work! Oral hygiene detergents help you clean your smile effectively, and minimize plaque.

Abrasive Agents

Many toothpastes also include a few abrasive agents to help buff away plaque. Your toothpaste may use dehydrated silica gels, aluminum oxides, and/or calcium carbonate to help you manually dislodge stubborn plaque and dental debris. Modern abrasive agents are rough enough to disturb plaque, while being safe for your dental enamel and oral tissues.

Flavorings

There are many different flavor options for patients today. The key thing to know about flavoring agents is that they should not include sugar, as this ramps up oral bacteria production. Ingredients like saccharine and sorbitol improve the flavor or toothpastes and mouthwashes without coating your mouth in sugar.

Do you have a question about an ingredient that we didn’t cover today? If so, please feel free to reach out to our O’Fallon dentists by calling our office or using the Contact Us page on our website!

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