To ensure a lifetime of smiles, here are some useful tips to encourage the youth in your family to be enthusiastic about their daily oral hygiene habits.
Children ages 3 to 5: Help your young children to brush their teeth twice a day, using a pea-sized amount of fluoride toothpaste. Show them how to brush every tooth surface and their tongue, and make sure that they spit out the toothpaste when they are done. Now is also the time to teach them how to clean between their teeth.
Children ages 6 to 12: Encourage them to clean between their teeth once a day, in addition to brushing twice a day for two minutes with fluoride toothpaste. Help children to make healthy food choices, avoiding sweets and sugars. Have them fitted for a sports mouth guard to be worn during athletic activity.
Teenagers: Remind them to brush their teeth at least twice a day with fluoride toothpaste, rinse with an antibacterial mouthwash, and clean in between the teeth at leastonce a day. Help your teenager to eliminate tobacco use and eat nutritious foods that are low in sugar. Teens should also remember to wear a sports mouth guard during active play, and should be vaccinated against the HPV virus—a risk factor for oral cancer—for additional protection.
Good oral health is essential to total health and well-being at any age. More information is available online at www.dentalhygienecanada.ca.