Oral Hygiene

Pediatric Oral Hygiene in East Lansing, MI

Oral hygiene.

At the office of Dr. Jacob Myers, DDS, we're proud to provide expert pediatric dental care in a warm, friendly, and welcoming office environment. Dr. Myers and our highly trained team of pediatric dental specialists work hard to treat each patient holistically, mapping out a treatment plan for each individual who walks through our doors. However, only a small percentage of treatment happens in the office. The rest depends on your work at home, which can have a huge impact on a child’s dental development. A proper oral hygiene regimen is crucial to a healthy, beautiful smile.

Prevalence of Dental Decay

Tooth decay is often called the second most common disease, coming in only after the common cold, and it affects nearly two thirds of all children aged 12-19 in the US. This makes it 7 times as common as seasonal allergies and 5 times as common as asthma. The worst part about this? It's completely preventable!

While tooth decay may be common, it's by no means necessary to get them. With a strong, regular oral hygiene regimen and a healthy diet, you can help your child take great care of their teeth and set them up for a lifetime of healthy smiling.

Maintaining Oral Hygiene

Keep in mind that regularly visiting our office is critical to proper oral health. At your regularly scheduled appointments, we'll examine your child's mouth to spot any developing problems that could arise. We'll also perform a thorough, deep clean to remove any set-in bacteria and plaque that you normally can’t see day-to-day. In between visits, though, a comprehensive oral hygiene regimen is necessary for maintaining good dental health. Here's what your child's oral hygiene routine should include:

How to Brush Your Teeth

  • Brushing & Flossing: Your child should brush their teeth - either with help or on their own - at least twice a day. Flossing is also just as important and should be done regularly as well. These two activities are vital for cleaning the mouth of residual food particles, removing plaque and bacteria, and preventing new bacteria from growing. Doing this safeguards your child against dental decay, gingivitis, and cavities.
  • Monitor Fluoride: Fluoride is an essential mineral for teeth, giving tooth enamel the strength to resist acids and bacteria. You'll want to ensure your child gets the necessary amount of fluoride. Always use fluoridated toothpaste, and double check to ensure your local water supply is fluoridated. If it's not, let us know, as we may recommend a supplement.
  • Limit Sugary Snacks: We all know children love sweets. However, snacking between meals gives bacteria more access to foods, which they break down into acids that erode tooth enamel. If the snacks are sugary, that's double the danger: sugars are especially potent for bacteria to turn into acids. Try to limit your child’s intake of sugar to prevent cavities and other diseases from growing.
  • Use a Mouth Rinse: Mouth rinses are a great way to fortify your child's regular hygiene regimen, as they can neutralize bacteria and plaque that may be missed by regularly brushing and flossing. It has been proven to be more effective against bacteria and cavities than just brushing and flossing alone. Mouthwash, however, should be used as an addition and does not replace brushing and flossing altogether.
  • No Tobacco: Hopefully, this point shouldn’t apply to a child - but for adults, tobacco is the worst thing that can happen to your teeth. In addition to staining teeth and the tongue, tobacco increases your risk of oral cancer, gum disease, and tooth decay, making it a bad combination for dental health. It’s important to limit the use of tobacco related products as much as possible.
  • Examine Your Mouth: Make a practice to regularly examine your mouth as a part of your routine. This will help you spot any chips or dark spots on your teeth, as well as letting you monitor things like red or swollen gums or any unusual sores. If you find anything that looks suspicious, give us a call and we'll talk it over with you.

Contact Us Today!

Contact your East Lansing Pediatric Dentist today! We hope that these tips will help you establish that beautiful, healthy smile you’ve always wanted for you and your child! If you have any questions or you're ready to bring your child in for a regular exam and cleaning, we're here to help. Feel free to request an appointment at our East Lansing office using our easy online form, give us a call at 517-337-0032, or reach out to us at our contact page with any questions. We look forward to hearing from you, and until then, keep up the good work with oral hygiene!

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