This week, the World Health Organisation (WHO) has advised patients to avoid visiting the dentist for routine check-ups and non-urgent procedures until the risk of COVID-19 is better understood.
Dentists and Spotlight Oral Care founders, Dr. Lisa and Dr. Vanessa Creaven have shared their top 5 tips for children’s at home oral care, as they are aware that 90% of oral health is dependent on what is done at home, as opposed to while sitting in the dentist’s chair.
As Dentists, Lisa and Vanessa know what’s up. They have witnessed their patients struggle to find safe and effective oral care strategies to target their specific goals and they believe that taking care of children’s teeth at home is more important than ever right now.
So here are their top 5 tips to ensure your child has an effective oral care routine at home:
- Brush Their Teeth Twice a Day for 2 Minutes
Brushing is the only effective way to reduce plaque build-up and maintain a healthy, beautiful smile. Lisa and Vanessa recommend brushing teeth and gums for two minutes, even if your teeth feel clean after one! The sonic brush comes with a built-in two-minute self-timer to ensure you’re never over brushing your teeth - which can actually do more damage than good!
2. Don't Forget to Brush The Tongue!
Bacteria love to grow and build up on the tongue. Bacteria on the tongue is the number one cause of bad breath. But if bacteria is alive on the tongue, it needs to go to avoid tooth decay. Brush your children’s tongues to avoid bacteria build up.
3. Flossing is Not a Myth
Flossing is something that some of Lisa and Vanessa’s patients think is a bit of a myth, but in fact, it’s actually just as important as brushing. Brushing your teeth is only half the battle to keep teeth and gums healthy. Flossing once a day is a great way to remove plaque and food build up in those hard to reach places. The dentists would go as far as to say flossing is more important than mouthwash!
4. Avoid Sugary Food and Drinks (that includes fruit!)
Foods that may appear healthy can often be loaded with sugar. Keep this in mind when giving children snacks in the evening, as sugar can linger on their teeth while they sleep if teeth aren’t brushed right before bed. The dentists highlight that fruit is also full of sugar, and it is important to beware. Consuming large amounts of these foods can lead to tooth decay or erosion which exposes teeth to sensitivity.
5. Dry Mouth = Danger Zone
Keep your children hydrated by giving them lots of water a day to produce saliva and avoid their mouths becoming dry. Saliva acts as your mouth’s antiseptic and helps to prevent decay. Without it, excess food particles and bacteria will not be washed away, not only leaving bad breath but teeth will become more prone to decay.