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Brushing and flossing are essential aspects of excellent oral hygiene. Bad habits can creep up on us all, even with the best of intentions. Thankfully, it’s never too late to brush up on you and your child’s less-than-desirable oral health care habits!

One that is easiest to slip into is not taking enough time to brush. Each session should take 2 minutes, and you’ll want to brush your child’s teeth twice a day. Are you having trouble taking enough time on their teeth? Try setting a timer. Even better, turn on their favorite tune and listen while you help them brush. There are even some electric toothbrushes that will time how long you brush.

Another neglected habit is flossing. Interdental cleaning is a vital part of keeping the mouth clean from leftover food particles and safe from cavity-causing bacteria. Flossing should take 2-3 minutes each time. Remember to be gentle along the gumline, and don’t forget the back row!

Don’t brush teeth right after eating–particularly if you’ve had acidic, citrus, soda, or alcohol. Brushing right after consuming acidic food products can hurt teeth. Wait 20-30 minutes after eating to brush and floss. Try sugarless, ADA-approved gum to help clean your mouth first. Or just drink plain water. That will nourish the rest of their body as well.

Also, when you brush, do so softly. Brushing harder won’t actually eliminate food particles or plaque from teeth. In fact, it can lead to damage of the enamel and painful problems with the gums. A gentle brush is everything that’s needed. It may even help their toothbrush last longer. Remember to be gentle!

Dr. Troy Hardy and our team here at Copper Cove Pediatric Dentistry in South Jordan, Utah, will be happy to help you and your child on your way to an even healthier smile! Call us at 801-446-2080 to set an appointment today!