Did you know that February is National Children’s Dental Health Month? Each year, the American Dental Association decides on a theme for our child education programs, and this year’s is how to use fluoride toothpaste.
The most common children’s oral health problem is caries: the bacterial infections that secrete acid and damage tooth enamel, resulting in cavities. Fluoride shields teeth against acid, which is why we provide fluoride topical treatments during cleanings. It is important for children to develop a habit of brushing their teeth regularly since this will serve them well their entire lives. Although their baby teeth will fall out, pain from decay can interfere with their sleep, eating, and speech development, and make them more irritable and easily distracted.
Children, and everyone else, should brush for two full minutes during each session. They should use soft-bristled toothbrushes and be sure to brush on every tooth surface, and on the tongue. Fluoride toothpaste should be spat out after use because absorbing too much of it could cause the teeth to become discolored.