When it comes to good oral hygiene for children, the name of the game is consistency. Kids’ dental care begins even before they actually have teeth. The more familiar children are with oral hygiene, and the more consistently it is a part of their routine, the better. See also How to Take Care of Braces: Children
With all the sugary temptations for kids, it’s more important than ever to teach children healthy tooth brushing habits. Make sure your children are getting a balanced diet, and brushing their teeth every day, two times each day.
There are tons of fun tools to make brushing your teeth fun for kids, too. We will include some links to those resources at the end.
Here are some keys to healthy teeth for kids
- Cleaning: To clean baby’s gums, use a clean, damp washcloth and wipe them down after each feeding and before bedtime.
- On average, a baby’s first teeth begin to push through the gums at around 6 months. According to the American Dental Association tooth decay can begin as soon as teeth start appearing.
- Cleaning: Keep brushing your child’s teeth two times a day with a very small amount of fluoride toothpaste—about the size of a pea. Once the child has two teeth that touch, begin flossing their teeth every day. There are lots of fun kid-friendly flossers you can find at any number of local drug stores.
- Cleaning: This is a great time to begin teaching your children how to move the toothbrush around their mouth. Continue to help them until they are able to brush effectively on their own. Brush your teeth with your children, so they can watch you and observe how you move the toothbrush. Also begin teaching your child to not swallow the toothpaste. Follow the twice-a-day rule with teeth brushing, and use a small, pea-sized smear of toothpaste on the toothbrush.
Continuing dental care for your child and problem-solvers
- Sealants: To prevent cavities in hard-to-brush areas of your child’s mouth, we often use sealant. These are a plastic resin material that is “painted” onto the tooth and effectively seals out cavity-causing plaque and food. Sealants are strong and can last several years before they need to be reapplied.
- Diet: A balanced diet also aids with kids’ tooth health. This is one of those areas that affects many areas of your child’s health. Healthy kids usually have healthy teeth.
- Thumb sucking and Pacifiers: It’s no mystery that these issues can drastically affect the proper growth and develop; eat of your child’s mouth and teeth. Part of helping your children stock thumb sucking includes lots of positive affirmation—praise your child when they are not sucking. We can offer lots of other advice and encouragement for how to help your children break the habit of sucking.
Please feel free to contact our office at (843) 795-5565 for further assistance or advice, if any of these are a continuing issue for you, or if you would like more information. Be sure to access our online guide to kids’ dental care .
FREE RESOURCES FOR KIDS DENTAL CARE
– Free Kids’ Tooth Brushing Playlist from the ADA
– Disney Magic Timer App by Oral-B—a free, animated 2-minute timer with your child’s favorite Disney or Marvel characters, plus a brushing calendar, and sticker album
– Tooth care games & Tooth Defenders app for kids from Colgate.
– Kool Smiles app—includes a brushing timer and Kool Smiles Coloring Sheets.
– Mouth Health Kids from the ADA—includes videos, games & quizzes, activity sheets, and more.