Oral Hygiene


good-habits.jpgOral Hygiene

Dr. Molly Gunsaulis encourages parents to brush their child's teeth at least twice a day to remove plaque on the top, front and back of teeth. (and remove plaque at least once a day with floss, Soft Pik, Water Pik or equivalent .)

When do you need to start dental care for your child? A child can brush their own teeth once they master tying shoe laces by themselves. Once a child can do this they have developed the proper hand-eye coordination, and parents only have to supervise from here on out.  Dr. Gunsaulis recommends goal calendars to set goals toward achieving good habits and we have calendars at the office for you to use.  Goal calendars work best with positive encouragement and are less effective with denying privileges. 

Dr. Gunsaulis knows that providing dental care at home is not easy with every child. Don't lose heart, we can guide you through this process and we routinely give parents tricks that make them say:

  • What a good idea
  • toothpaste-sample-02.jpgI know that will work
  • Why didn't I think of that before

Use a toothbrush with soft bristles soften under warm water alone or with toothpaste.  Toothpaste can contain fluoride or not, it's your preference.   Avoid training toothpaste that contains any sugars.  If your child is under age two, or can't yet spit the toothpaste out after brushing, apply toothpaste onto toothbrush to be the size equivalent of a grain of rice which just covers the edges of the bristles and is difficult to see after applying.

Once a child is able to spit toothpaste out you may use enough toothpaste to equal the size of a green pea. When you brush your child's teeth, move the brush in small circular motions to reach food particles that may be under the gum line. Hold the toothbrush at an angle of 45 degrees to the gums and brush slowly, covering all areas between teeth. Always brush in circles, and never in a back-and-forth motion or a side-to-side motion. Brushing for two minutes ensures the optimal plaque removal required to prevent cavities and gum disease.

Brush your child's teeth at least two times a day to avoid the build-up of food particles and plaque:

  • In the morning
  • Right before bedtime

Replace your child's toothbrush at least every 3 months or as soon as the bristles start to wear of fray. It is important to carefully brush and floss daily for optimal oral hygiene and to prevent tooth decay.