How often should I brush my kids teeth?
Once in the morning, after breakfast, and once at night, before bed. We understand this may not always happen twice a day, but if you only get one brushing in, be sure it’s before bed. We don’t want the sugar bugs in your mouth while sleeping!
What Toothpaste should we use?
Dr. Lentfer recommends using any brand toothpaste that your child enjoys using that has an abrasive in it to remove stain and sticky plaque and one that has fluoride. That being said, below are some recommended toothpastes if you have a child who is picky about flavor or if you choose fluoride free options
- MI Paste – This is a great option to help remineralize cavities. GC America makes this product and it comes with and without fluoride
- Tom’s of Main Strawberry – very popular with flavor sensitive children. This has a reduced percentage of fluoride
- Spry Toothpaste – Xylitol based
- DoTerra OnGuard Toothpaste – fluoride free and Xylitol free option. Predominantly based on science of essential oils in fighting bacteria
- Theodent – though pricey, this is a cool toothpaste using the science of the cocoa bean to fight cavities. Fluoride free
How often should we floss?
At least once, if not twice a day. You should start flossing your child’s teeth as soon as they touch.
What Floss Should we use?
Dr. Lentfer recommends using “floss picks” until your child is old enough to use traditional floss. Floss picks are a great way for your child to learn how to floss and is an easy way for you to help them learn…and keeps your fingers a bit more safe from bites than traditional floss. Though the fun kid themed picks are fun, they can be expensive. Dr. Lentfer recommends going to a dollar store and getting the largest pack they have.
What Mouthwash should we use?
Dr. Lentfer recommends the following mouthwashes. Mouthwash WILL NOT replace brushing and flossing, but is a great supplemental hygiene tool. Do NOT use a mouthwash until your child can properly spit the liquid out after using (to test your child’s ability, find a disposable cup, fill it with the recommended amount, mark a line on the cup at the top of the liquid. Have your child swish then spit into the cup. If the liquid is back to the line, they are ready to use a mouthwash. If not, they are swallowing too much and it is not recommended to use a mouthwash)
- ACT – a great fluoride rinse for all ages to help fight cavities
- Crest Pro-Health – great for adolescents and fighting gingivitis. A good overall oral health rinse
- Spry Xylitol Mouthrinse – great fluoride free cavity fighting for all ages
- Generic Options – Dr. Lentfer recommends finding generic options to any of the above. Hold the brand name ingredients next to a generic brand and compare ingredients. Often the ingredients are exactly the same and the cost is half the name brand
Healthy Diet To Prevent Decay
Cavities cannot start without sugar. Sure we all know about candy, soda and juice. But did you know chips, crackers, granola bars, fruit snacks, cereal, and even milk can cause cavities!?
Below is a list of healthy foods that are not as likely to cause cavities.
- Xylitol Containing products (mints, lozenges, candy, gum)
- Fermented foods (kimchi, saurkraut, vegetables)
Here are some of the common foods that cause cavities.
- Juice!!!!! Watered down or not, juice is packed with sugar! Try using a sugar free alternative like Crystal Light, Mio Pods, Xylitol sweeteners
- Milk in a bottle or sippy cup throughout the day and when sleeping
- Whole milk has the least amount of sugar where Non-Fat and 1-2% Milk have the highest amount of sugars
- Granola bars
- Fruit Snacks
- Processed cereals
- Fruit Leathers
- Processed grains, ie. white bread, bagels, muffins
- Cheetos, Taquis, Fritos
- Essential Oils
- Good hygiene and low processed carbohydrate diet!