Healthy teeth: Irish dentists share their top 5 tips for children’s at-home oral care
The World Health Organisation has advised against non-urgent dental appointments.
The reason being that patients should avoid visiting the dentist for routine check-ups and non-urgent procedures until the risk of COVID-19 is better understood.
Luckily, 90 percent of oral health is dependent on what is done at home, as opposed to while sitting in the dentist’s chair, says Irish dentists Dr Lisa and Dr Vanessa Creaven.
To help us all out with this, the sisters, who are the brains behind Spotlight Oral Care have shared their top 5 tips for children’s at-home oral care.
- Brush Their Teeth Twice a Day for 2 Minutes
Brushing is the only effective way to reduce plaque build-up and maintain a healthy, beautiful smile. Lisa and Vanessa recommend brushing teeth and gums for two minutes, even if your teeth feel clean after one! The sonic brush comes with a built-in two-minute self-timer to ensure you’re never over brushing your teeth - which can actually do more damage than good!
- Don't Forget to Brush The Tongue!
Bacteria love to grow and build up on the tongue. Bacteria on the tongue is the number one cause of bad breath. But if bacteria is alive on the tongue, it needs to go to avoid tooth decay. Brush your children’s tongues to avoid bacteria build-up.
- Flossing is Not a Myth
Flossing is something that some of Lisa and Vanessa’s patients think is a bit of a myth, but in fact, it’s actually just as important as brushing. Brushing your teeth is only half the battle to keep teeth and gums healthy. Flossing once a day is a great way to remove plaque and food build-up in those hard to reach places. The dentists would go as far as to say flossing is more important than mouthwash!
- Avoid Sugary Food and Drinks (that includes fruit!)
Foods that may appear healthy can often be loaded with sugar. Keep this in mind when giving children snacks in the evening, as sugar can linger on their teeth while they sleep if teeth aren’t brushed right before bed. The dentists highlight that fruit is also full of sugar, and it is important to beware. Consuming large amounts of these foods can lead to tooth decay or erosion which exposes teeth to sensitivity.
- Dry Mouth = Danger Zone
Keep your children hydrated by giving them lots of water a day to produce saliva and avoid their mouths becoming dry. Saliva acts as your mouth’s antiseptic and helps to prevent decay. Without it, excess food particles and bacteria will not be washed away, not only leaving bad breath but teeth will become more prone to decay.