Drs. Golovan & Golovan
Norman Golovan D.D.S. 
Bruce Golovan D.M.D.
Family & Cosmetic Dentistry

28790 Chagrin Blvd. #300
Woodmere Village, OH 44122
(216) 591-0022
Designing Healthy and Beautiful Smiles!

Call for an appointment today!
(216) 591-0022
Prevent Cavities
Cavities are caused by tooth decay, which is a disease that damages and breaks down teeth.  Untreated tooth decay can lead to pain, loss of teeth, and loss of confidence.  Children with tooth pain cannot eat or sleep properly and may miss days of school.  Even worse, an abscess from a cavity can cause serious or even life threatening infections when left untreated. 
Cleaning Your Child's Teeth
Cleaning your child's teeth is an important step toward preventing cavities.  Cleaning also helps remove plaque.  Teeth should be brushed at least twice a day and flossed once a day.
How To Brush
Brush and floss your child's teeth until he or she is at least 6 years old.  By age 6 or 7, your child should be able to brush their own teeth while you watch.  When you first teach your child how to brush, you may wish to stand behind them and hold their toothbrush.  This can help your child learn the proper way to brush.
Make choosing a toothbrush a fun activity for your child.  Find a child-sized toothbrush with soft bristles.  Let your child pick out the color and design.  By around age 10 or 11, most children should be able to brush teeth without supervision.  If you're not sure if you're child is ready, ask your dentist for advice.  Keep in mind, everyone is different.

Here are some tips for proper brushing:
- The ADA recommends that you use a pea-sized drop of toothpaste for children between 2 and 6 years old.  For children under 2, only use water, unless your dentist recommends otherwise.
- Place the toothbrush against the gums.
- Move the brush back and forth gently in short strokes.  Brush the outer surfaces of each tooth, upper and lower.  Repeat the same method in the insides surfaces and chewing surfaces of the teeth,
- Finish by brushing the tongue to help freshen breath and remove any bacteria.  
How To Floss
Flossing is an important part of cleaning teeth.  Flossing removes plaque from between teeth where the toothbrush bristles can't reach.  Flossing is not easy for children to do, especially on their own.  The ADA recommends that you floss your child's teeth until he or she can do it alone, which is usually around age 10 or 11.  When your child is ready to floss, show him or her how to hold the floss and gently clean between the teeth.

Here are some tips for proper flossing.  Your dentist and hygienist can also show you and your child how to floss.  Don't forget to floss once a day!
- Use about a foot and a half of floss.  Wind most of it around the middle fingers of both hands.  Hold the floss between the thumbs and forefingers.  Use a gentle, back-and-forth motion to guide the floss between the teeth.
- Curve the floss into a C-shape and guide it into the space between the gum and tooth until you feel resistance.  Gently scrape the floss against the side of the tooth.
- Repeat these steps on each tooth.  Don't forget the backs of the last teeth in each corner of the mouth.
Diet and Your Child's Teeth
What we eat, and how often, can affect our teeth.  This is because plaque constantly forms on the teeth.  When we have food or drinks that contain sugar, the plaque bacteria makes acids that can attack tooth enamel.  The stickiness of plaque keeps the harmful acids against the teeth, which over time can result in tooth decay.  Snacking often may mean more acid attacks and a higher risk for tooth decay.  Help your child start good and healthy eating habits.  Try to limit their between-meal snacking.  If your child is thirst or hungry, avoid cookies, candy and other sweet and sticky foods.  Offer them water and healthy foods such as fruits, carrots or crackers.  Save the sweets, if needed, for mealtime.  This is a better time to consume sweets because during mealtime the mouth makes more saliva to help rinse out the food particles.  
Fluoride is a mineral that is very effective in protecting teeth from decay.  When a child's teeth are still forming, fluoride works by making tooth enamel more resistant to the acid that causes tooth decay.  Fluoride also helps repair areas where the acid attacks have already begun.  
Children can get added protection from fluoride if they get it from more than one source.  Fluoride may be found in toothpastes, mouth rinses and professional fluoride that is applied in dental offices.  You can also get fluoride from fluoridated tap water or from fluoride tablets, drops or lozenges.  Bottled water does not always contain fluoride,  So children who drink bottled water or unfluoridated tap water may be missing the benefits of fluoride.  Check the label of your bottled water to check for fluoride.
Dental Visits
Regular dental visits are essential to keeping a healthy smile.  During these dental visits, the dentist will check the child's mouth for tooth decay and growth patterns that may pose a problem in the future.  Your child should see the dentist as often as you do, at least every six months, unless otherwise advised by your dentist.  During these dental visits cleanings are performed as well as fluoride treatments and the possibility of the application of sealants which will prevent tooth decay and reduce the need for further dental treatment in the future.  Remember to keep up with all the other suggestions and tips above between dental visits to keep your child's mouth healthy.