Always on the lookout on how to keep the pearly whites white? Here are some basic tips to manage your child’s oral hygiene and most of them are actually age neutral, so you don’t forget to take care of yourself too!

• Brush twice a day

Your child should brush their teeth twice a day for two minutes each time, using back and forth and up and down motions. Don’t forget to encourage them to brush their tongue and gums to eliminate bacteria that can linger there.

• Replace the toothbrush regularly

It’s recommended that you replace your child’s toothbrush every three months or when the bristles start to fray, whichever comes first.

• Floss once a day

It’s best to floss before bedtime so your child can remove any food particles that may have gotten caught in their teeth. If your child finds using traditional floss difficult, there are lots of fun tools like floss picks that can make it easier for them.

• Fluoride treatments

Fluoride is a naturally-occurring mineral that helps strengthen tooth enamel. Depending on your child’s needs, they can receive two to four treatments per year. Children can start receiving fluoride treatments as soon as their first tooth erupts.

• Say no to sticky, starchy and sugar foods

When sugar gets on the teeth, it serves as a food source for bacteria. The bacteria converts the sugar into acids, which then leads to tooth decay and cavities. Sticky, sugar candies are notoriously bad for the teeth since they stubbornly stay on the teeth after eating. The longer sugar remains on the surface of the teeth, the more bacteria can grow.

• Encourage a tooth-healthy diet

Eating foods that are rich in calcium like broccoli, dairy products, and leafy green vegetables results in healthy teeth and bones. You can also consider asking your child’s doctor about taking calcium supplements. Other vitamins such as vitamin D, vitamin B complex, copper, zinc, iodine, iron, and potassium all play key roles in the health of your child’s teeth.