Featuring: Dr. Matt Stunkel
Thank you to the Bolivar community for welcoming me to the CMH medical staff over the last few months. I am excited to be a part of the Miles for Smiles mobile dental unit! Because Miles for Smiles is a CMH program dedicated to the dental development of kids, I’d like to turn your attention to proper dental hygiene and the amount of toothpaste that is safe for your children to consume.
Proper Dental Hygiene begins…
Children should visit the dentist starting at six months of age, around the time the first teeth erupt, or start poking through the gums. Your child’s first dental visit will be enjoyable, primarily focused on how to maintain healthy teeth. The dentist will instruct you, the parent on how to properly coach your child(ren) in the art of brushing their teeth, as well as share with you just how much toothpaste your child(ren) should be using. Before beginning a dental hygiene regimen, parents should understand that children require supervision while brushing their teeth, and allow their children (age two to six) to utilize only a pea-sized amount of toothpaste twice a day. A pea-sized amount of fluoride toothpaste equates to a safe amount of fluoride for that particular age bracket. Beyond age six, children should maintain brushing their teeth twice daily for two minutes (or four minutes, if they count quickly) to prevent plaque buildup that occurs when sugars have not been removed from the enamel of their teeth.
What are the benefits of fluoride toothpaste?
- Protection – When the toothpaste on your toothbrush comes into contact with your teeth, the fluoride creates a “bond” on your teeth, preventing the living organisms in your mouth from applying their acid(s) to your teeth, thus interrupting the formation of plaque which may turn into tooth decay.
- Prevention – People who follow a dental regimen of brushing twice and flossing once daily, have fewer cavities than those who do not follow a dental hygiene regimen.
- Pattern – Your children only know how to brush their teeth and how often, based upon how you coach them to do so. Practice putting your children in a pattern of behavior resulting in good oral hygiene.
My staff and I would enjoy assisting you with any questions you might have regarding proper dental hygiene for children. You may contact us at: 417-328-6334.
Matt Stunkel, D.D.S.