A to M: 13 Essential ABCs Kids Need To Know About Their Oral Health
Learn the ABCs of oral health from A to M.
As a child is learning their letters and numbers, they can also learn about the ABCs of oral health! You can teach your child these ABCs as they are brushing their teeth every day!
American Dental Association Seal
The American Dental Association, or ADA, is the governing body that many dentists belong to. The ADA Seal is a small icon that can be found on all dental products recommended by the ADA. Look for the ADA seal on toothpaste, toothbrushes, mouthwash, and any other oral health product.
Believe it or not, how you brush your teeth is just as important as how frequently you brush them. To properly brush your teeth, put a pea size amount of toothpaste on the toothbrush, hold the toothbrush at a 45-degree angle to your teeth, and brush in small, circular motions, making sure to brush every surface of your tooth, including the top, back, and sides. This video gives a great demonstration on how children should brush their teeth.
A cavity, or tooth decay, happens when you don’t brush your teeth properly. Bacteria builds up and eats away at the enamel of the tooth. That can lead to pits or holes in your teeth that then have to be filled with a filling. How do you prevent cavities? Brush your teeth at least twice a day, use mouthwash, and remember to floss daily!
Part of a healthy oral health routine is making sure you visit your dentist at least twice a year for a dental evaluation. Regular dental check-ups allow your dentist to catch any issues with your teeth, like cavities, and also helps check the alignment of teeth as the primary teeth fall out to make room for the adult, or permanent, teeth.
Enamel is the hard, outer layer of your teeth that helps keep them strong. You want to protect your enamel, so look for toothpaste and mouthwash that contains fluoride, a mineral that helps keep enamel strong. You can also eat a balanced diet, including items high in calcium, like cheese, to help build up the enamel on your teeth.
Flossing your teeth every day is just as important as brushing them. Flossing allows you to clean the space between your teeth and remove any stuck food particles. If traditional dental floss doesn’t work for you, there are alternatives, like Waterpiks and dental picks.
Gum health is another important part of a good oral health routine. Your gums are where your teeth are anchored, so you want to keep your gums strong and healthy so your teeth have a place to call home. Make sure you are brushing your teeth gently along the gumline, and when flossing, make sure you floss under the gums to remove any leftover food particles.
Halitosis is the technical term for bad breath. Bad breath can happen because you aren’t brushing your teeth properly, which includes brushing your tongue! Make sure all surfaces of your mouth are brushed and clean at least twice a day so plaque and bacteria don’t form.
An interdental brush is a small toothbrush designed to clean between your teeth. It’s important to clean between your teeth to remove any leftover food particles and so plaque and bacteria don’t build up and cause cavities.
Juice Consumption and Its Impact on Teeth
Did you know that many juices contain added sugar? Prolonged exposure to sugar can cause damage to teeth, wearing down the enamel. While it is okay to have juice with a meal, dentists recommend that your child not sip on juice all throughout the day. Instead, have water available to drink throughout the day to help limit the sugar exposure to teeth.
Keeping Teeth Clean
Keep your teeth clean and healthy by brushing them at least twice a day. Dentists recommend brushing teeth about 30 minutes after a meal for the best results.
Keeping your lips protected is just as important as keeping your teeth and gums healthy. Be sure to use lip balm with SPF to protect your lips from damage from the sun. Lip balm can also keep your lips moist, so they won’t crack when they dry out.
Mouthguards for Sports
If you or your child plays any sort of contact sport, or a sport where there could be a mouth injury, wearing a mouthguard is very important. Make sure you get a custom made mouthguard that fits your mouth snugly so your teeth will be protected from any hits.
Now you know your A through M—next time learn your N through Z!
Now that you and your children know the first half of the ABCs of oral health, it’s time to make sure that you schedule an appointment to see the team at Must Love Kids if you haven’t seen us in the last six months! And, be sure to check out what we have to say for N through Z because at Must Love Kids, we’re all about building healthy smiles for kids.