It's no secret that COVID-19 has kept millions of children from visiting the dentist for their routine dental cleanings. However now that many Americans have received the vaccine and states return to normal, pediatric dental practices are fully operational and seeing patients again. As dental healthcare facilities continue with elective procedures in accordance with guidance from local and state officials, there are precautions that should remain in place as a part of the ongoing response to the COVID-19 pandemic. To help dental offices ensure patients remain safe while visiting, the CDC has provided Interim Infection Prevention and Control Guidance for Dental Settings During the Coronavirus Disease.
Regrettably, some children who haven't been to the dentist in a year may have to wait several more weeks to schedule a cleaning due to dental offices having backed-up schedules. So, if you haven’t booked your child’s dentist appointment yet be sure to do so now.
As a community, everyone’s number one priority is to reduce the risk of spreading COVID-19. However, it’s also important to prevent gum disease and remove plaque and tartar from our children’s teeth. Unfortunately, only a pediatric dentist has the skillset and the right tools to safely remove tartar and plaque from children’s teeth. (As we previously wrote about, you do not want to try and remove plaque yourself as you can cause long-term damage to your teeth)
These issues can be compounded for kids. Children whose dental problems might have been easily taken care of in an office setting may have had to wait to see a dentist. And since teeth don't get better on their own, those problems just get worse and need even more treatment.
So, what can you do keep you and your family’s dental care in check until you can see a professional? Here are a few tips you can use to help maintain optimal oral healthcare until you can schedule an appointment with your dentist.
Maintain a Dentist-Recommended Routine
Ensure your child is brushing their teeth a minimum of twice a day for at least 2 minutes each time. Ideally you want he or she to brush after every meal.
If possible, use an electric toothbrush. They can be easier to use for kids and the powerful motion does a great job at removing tartar and plaque.
Choose the right toothbrush size. Weather you use an electric or normal toothbrush, make sure you child is using a smaller size that can easily and safely fit in their mouth.
Inspect your child’s toothbrush to ensure the bristles are not worn. Be sure to replace their toothbrush every 3 months.
To help kids, look for handles that are easy to grip and soft bristles that aren’t harsh on their teeth and gums. Children often enjoy being able to choose their own toothbrush. It provides them a sense of ownership and is an important step in starting a new healthy routine.
How often is your child flossing? The American Dental Association (ADA) recommends children and adults brush their teeth twice daily for at least two minutes but also flossing at least once every day. However, as we previously mentioned, if you can ensure they brush and floss after every meal that would be best.
Flossing doesn't just get food particles out from between the teeth. It also removes plaque from areas on the teeth a toothbrush may not be able to reach. It only takes 24 hours for plaque to turn into tartar. Because tartar gives plaque more room to grow, it increases the risk of cavities, gingivitis, and other dental issues.
If your child is having a hard time with dental floss, we recommend purchasing a bag of dental floss picks. A dental floss pick is a small plastic tool with a curved end that holds a piece of dental floss and can be much easier to use.
Avoid Food Acidic and High in Sugar
Consuming sugary foods regularly increases the chance of dental problems in children. Sugary foods aren’t just limited to candy and other sweets. Many processed foods also contain a lot of sugar.
Acidic foods and beverages wear away tooth enamel, making teeth more prone to sensitivity and cavities. Acidic foods can also change the appearance of the teeth. Children who consume a lot of acidic foods like soft drinks and dried fruits can experience tooth staining or a yellowish discoloration of the teeth if they don’t brush their teeth after eating.
If you child isn’t able to brush and floss their teeth after eating, try having them drink water and rinse the water around their mouth before swallowing.
Don’t Just Use a Normal Toothpaste
You can get a leg up on your child’s dental health by using a dental gel specifically formulated to remove plaque and tartar. When used alongside their regular fluoride toothpaste, a tartar and plaque removing dental gel helps to fight plaque on a molecular level so you can keep cavities away from a child’s teeth more effectively. This is especially important for those children who haven’t seen their pediatric dentist since the COVID pandemic started over a year ago.
LIVFRESH plaque and tartar removing dental gel is clinically proven to remove plaque 250% better than toothpaste alone, and all the gel's ingredients are on the FDA's GRAS (Generally Recognized as Safe) list. LIVFRESH also offers a variety of flavors your children should love.
To ensure your child doesn’t endure painful cavities or long-term oral health issues, while they wait for a dentist appointment, start using LIVFRESH Dental Gel on a regular basis.
Ready to try our tartar removing our award-winning dental gel? Contact LIVFRESH today to learn more about how our dental gel helps prevent cavities and removes stubborn plaque and tartar buildup.