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 that helps them develop a beautiful, healthy smile, and we have the knowledge and experience to make every visit to our office a pleasant experience for all involved - even the little ones! But healthy teeth don't just happen in the office – the care you and your child provide for their teeth at home has a huge impact on their dental development, and a proper oral hygiene regimen is crucial to a healthy smile.

The Prevalence of Dental Decay

Tooth decay is often called the second most prevalent 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? It's completely preventable!

While tooth decay is common, it's by no means necessary. With a strong, regular oral hygiene regimen and a healthy, balanced 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 and we'll perform a thorough deep clean to remove set-in bacteria and plaque. In between visits, though, a comprehensive oral hygiene regimen is crucial for maintaining 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, and they should floss daily. 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 take care 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: 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.
  • 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. This addition has been proven to be more effective against bacteria and cavities than just brushing and flossing alone.
  • No Tobacco: Hopefully, this point wouldn't apply to a child - but for adults, tobacco is a no-no for teeth. In addition to staining teeth and the tongue, tobacco increases your risk of oral cancer, gum disease, and tooth decay, making a bad combination for dental health.
  • 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 Your East Lansing Pediatric Dentist

We hope you've found these tips helpful, and we wish you luck in establishing a healthy oral hygiene routine for your own child. If you have any questions or you're ready to bring them 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!

Related Articles

Oral Hygiene - Dear Doctor Magazine

Oral Hygiene Behavior — Dental Health for Life The best tools for maintaining your oral health and minimizing dental problems are a quality toothbrush, toothpaste, a roll of dental floss, approved mouthwash and good diet. This article details a winning game plan for oral health... Read Article

Tooth Decay - Dear Doctor Magazine

Tooth Decay — A Preventable Disease Tooth decay is the number one reason children and adults lose teeth during their lifetime. Yet many people don't realize that it is a preventable infection. This article explores the causes of tooth decay, its prevention, and the relationship to bacteria, sugars, and acids... Read Article

Dental Hygiene Visit - Dear Doctor Magazine

Dental Hygiene Visit There's a lot more going on at your regular dental hygiene visit than a feel-good polishing! Dental hygienists collaborate with dentists to provide optimum personalized oral health care to prevent oral disease and to promote your health... Read Article