Children's Dental Articles
Keep Your Smile Shining at Summer Camp!
The last few weeks of school are here and summer vacation is rapidly approaching. Your kids will be involved in many fun summer time activities, which may include sleep-away camps. Along with their bathing suit and sunscreen, make sure they pack their toothbrush, fluoridated tooth paste and floss and review with them the importance of thoroughly brushing and flossing their teeth.
Dr. Dean Meier, a board certified Pediatric Dentist at Children's Dental Centre of Winnipeg, offers these suggestions to help keep dental problems at bay at home or at summer camp. "To help prevent cavities, you need to remove plaque, the transparent layer of bacteria that coats the teeth. The best way to do this is by brushing your teeth twice a day and flossing at least once a day".
Dr. Meier says that the minimum time you should spend brushing your teeth is 2 minutes twice a day. He offers some tips on how to brush properly. "Hold your brush at a 45-degree angle against your gum line. Gently brush from where the tooth and gum meet to the chewing surface in short circular strokes. Use the same method to brush all outside and inside surfaces of your teeth. To clean the chewing surfaces of your teeth, use short sweeping strokes, tipping the bristles into the pits and crevices. To clean the inside surfaces of your top and bottom front teeth and gums, hold the brush almost vertical. Using a forward-sweeping motion, gently brush your tongue and the roof of your mouth to remove the decay-causing bacteria that exist in these places". To ensure you're your child is brushing for at least two minutes send a timer to camp or have them use an electronic or battery operated toothbrush with a built in timer.
"Brushing is important but it won't remove the plaque and particles of food between your teeth, under the gum line, or under braces", adds Dr. Meier. " You'll need to floss these spaces at least once a day".
"Carefully insert the floss between two teeth, using a back and forth motion. Gently bring the floss to the gum line, but don't force it under the gums. Curve the floss around the edge of your tooth in the shape of the letter 'C' and slide it up and down the side of each tooth. Repeat this process between all your teeth, and remember to floss the back sides of your back teeth. Using kids floss with a short handle is also a great way to facilitate getting the job done well".
Eating the proper foods can also help maintain your child's healthy smile. Research suggests that foods such as cheese may not only help reduce the effects of acids formed by plaque bacteria, which cause cavities, but also can help restore the enamel. So encourage them to eat healthy while they are away from home.
Published in Winnipeg Parent Magazine