May 20,

Oral Hygiene Tips

Oral Hygiene Tips


Teeth should be brushed thoroughly at least twice a day; if possible after every meal and at bedtime.

Parents should brush their child’s teeth for them, once each day, until they are 7.

Don’t rush the brush! Take at least 2 minutes.

A pea-sized amount of fluoride toothpaste should be used. Children should be encouraged not to swallow toothpaste during brushing.

Type of Brush:
∙ Soft bristled;
∙ Child-sized; and
∙ Replaced every 3-4 months, or after colds and flu.

How to Brush:
∙ Angle toothbrush bristles where the gums and teeth meet;
∙ Gently jab and jiggle;
∙ Begin at the back of the mouth and follow the teeth around to the other side. Clean the inside and outside of each tooth this way;
∙ Use a back and forth motion for the chewing surfaces; and
∙ Finish by gently brushing the tongue and rinsing the mouth with water.


Flossing removes plaque from places where your toothbrush can’t reach.

Parents should floss their child’s teeth until the child can do it for themselves.

How to Floss:
∙ Stand behind your child and cradle their head in your arms, or have them sit on the floor in front of you with their head in your lap.
∙ Wrap the floss around each tooth in a c-shape and gently wipe the tooth up and down.
∙ Have child rinse his mouth with water when finished.


Tooth decay occurs when harmful bacteria in plaque mix with sugar (found in food and drinks) and form an acid.

This acid attacks tooth enamel for about 15-20 minutes after sugar is eaten.

Acid breaks down enamel and causes tooth decay.

How to Prevent Decay:
∙ Brush teeth at least 2 times a day; if possible after meals and before bed;
∙ Floss once a day;
∙ Limit intake of sugary foods;


Good snacks for school are:
∙ fruits and vegetables
∙ cheese/cheesestrings
∙ crackers and cheese
∙ rice or corn cakes
∙ breadsticks
∙ popcorn, pretzels
∙ dry cereal (low in sugar)
∙ yogurt
∙ cold pizza
∙ hard boiled eggs
∙ 100 % fruit juice
∙ milk or fortified soy beverage

Sticky, sugary foods do not make good recess snacks. They cause acid to form which can lead to tooth decay.

The following foods should be considered “treats” and should only be eaten occasionally:
∙ granola bars
∙ cookies, Dunk-a-Roos
∙ Joe Louis, Flaky
∙ Caramel Cakes, Twinkies
∙ Wagon Wheels
∙ fruit leather snacks
∙ chocolate bars
∙ candies
∙ pop
∙ potatoe chips, cheesies
∙ fruit drinks
∙ sports drinks, such as: Gatorade, Powerade

Last modified on Feb 09, 2017