Daily dental care is just as important as maintaining your routine dental appointments. Brushing morning and night for two minutes is required to properly remove plaque buildup. Depending on your diet and the spacing of your teeth, your dental professional may suggest that you increase the number of times you brush per day.

Angle the bristles toward the gum line, brush the outside surface, inside surface, and chewing surface of each tooth. Brush your tongue to prevent bad breath; the white film you find on your tongue is bacteria buildup. Toothbrushes do have a limited life span, so, be sure to replace your toothbrush every three months and after being sick!

Flossing and Mouthwash

Floss at least once per day! It helps clean areas that your toothbrush can’t reach. Flossing daily can help remove plaque build-up and remaining food particles which can cause cavities and gum disease.

Using a mouth rinse (also called mouthwash) may be a helpful addition to a daily dental hygiene routine for some people.  A mouth rinse has active ingredients that kill bacteria and can help reduce plaque, gingivitis, and bad breath. A mouth rinse with fluoride helps prevent or reduce tooth decay.

Signs of Cavities

In between your teen’s routine visits to a dental provider, it is useful to perform regular visual inspections of their teeth. Look for:

  • White and brown spots on your child’s teeth are early signs of cavities.
  • Black spots, and holes in your teen’s teeth are signs of moderate to severe tooth decay.

When signs of moderate to severe tooth decay are visible, it is wise to schedule a visit with your dental provider, for treatment and to prevent further cavities from developing.

Other signs to look out for that may imply your teen is suffering from dental decay:

  • Trouble focusing in class
  • Avoids eating hard foods
  • Complains about pain around their face, but cannot identify where
  • Struggles staying asleep through the night