Help Your Child

Although a six-year-old child may feel independent enough to brush and floss their own teeth, it is important for the parent to monitor their child until they are at least eight years old. It is common for the child to miss surfaces while brushing because they lack the coordination to reach all areas in the mouth.

Daily Dental Hygiene Routine

A daily oral hygiene routine includes:

  • Brushing your teeth morning and night for two minutes
  • Flossing at least once per day, and
  • Using a mouth rinse that contains fluoride as recommended by your dental provider. Your provider can share additional information and specific products to use.

Kissing Caries

Cavities are contagious and can be spread from person to person. Cavity causing bacteria can be spread from the sharing of foods, forks, cups, water bottles, toothbrushes, and kissing! Do not insert any object into your child’s mouth that has been in another person’s mouth!

Signs of Cavities

In between your child’s routine visits to a dental provider, it is useful to perform regular visual inspections of your child’s teeth.

  • White and brown spots on your child’s teeth are early signs of cavities.
  • Black spots, and holes in your child’s tooth 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, to prevent the infection from spreading.

Other signs to look out for that may imply your child 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

Signs of Teeth Grinding

Watch for signs of teeth grinding.  If your child complains of:

  • Sore cheek muscles
  • Sore jaw
  • Sensitive teeth

…and you notice the length of their teeth shortening, they may be grinding their teeth. Let your dental provider know of these signs so that they can provide your child with a preventive appliance to protect the natural shape of their teeth.