Prevention Programs and Counseling
Teaching Oral Hygiene to Children
Oral hygiene and health education is one of the most important parts of your child’s beautiful smile. Teaching them about it from an early age will set them for a lifetime of healthy habits. The earlier you start getting kids excited about oral hygiene, the easier it is for them to make it a habit.
Don’t be surprised if we tell you that oral hygiene education for kids starts with their birth! And don’t worry, we will not ask you to brush your newborn’s gums every day. However, we recommend cleaning your child’s gum with a damp, soft wash cloth after feeding, before the first baby tooth appears. Once the first tooth appears, you can start using a soft toothbrush with a small head.
Think about how eager little kids are to learn new things. The more you teach them, the more they will want to learn. If you bear in mind that your child’s healthy habits start with your own healthy habits, you could take good care of your oral hygiene together and let them copy your actions.
In addition, we are always here to have your back and help your child learn all about oral hygiene. Dr. Yasmin, our caring pediatric dentist, is very passionate about prevention and counseling and will be glad to help you with any advice.
Your child’s bright and healthy smile means the world to us and we will give you some tips and tricks that might help your child have good oral hygiene.
Tips on Your Child’s Oral Hygiene
- Before the first baby tooth appears, clean your baby’s gum with a damp, soft wash cloth after feeding. Once the first tooth appears, you can start using a soft toothbrush with a small head.
- When your child’s first tooth appears, start using a soft-bristled toothbrush. It’s best to brush in the morning after breakfast, before naps and at night before your child goes to sleep. Your child might become fussy before they get used to the brush, but don’t be discouraged – eventually they will get used to the routine. Remember that cleaning should not be limited to teeth, the gums also need to be cleaned. Brushing wars are completely normal and a fussy brusher is really expected!
- Choose a toothbrush with a soft bristle so it won’t irritate your child. Make sure that the toothbrush is age appropriate. Choose a toothbrush that has a large grip and a large handle, making it easier for your child to brush their teeth. Kids are usually not able to brush their teeth thoroughly until a later age and it’s better to opt for a larger grip to help them out.
- You can start using toothpaste when your child’s first tooth erupts. Make sure to use a tiny amount for each cleaning and for children under one years of age you can choose a toothpaste that doesn’t have fluoride (an organic toothpaste).
- Always ask your child to spit out the toothpaste after brushing, but not rinse with water. If you are wondering what to do if your child swallows the toothpaste, don’t worry. This is natural and toothpaste companies put that into consideration for formulating kiddie pastes. Our suggestion is to look for an organic toothpaste with an active ingredient that protects teeth like fluoride does. This applies only if your child is one year and younger. After their first year, children have more teeth and they definitely need more fluoride to protect them.
- To avoid cavities, your child must understand and follow dental hygiene. This includes brushing regularly and using fluoride appropriate to their age which protects them from cavities and pain, while parents should make sure that their child has regular visits to the pediatric dentist
If you have any questions or doubts, our pediatric dental expert, Dr. Yasmin will be glad to assist you. She is an international speaker and in her 16 years of practice, Dr. Yasmin has been speaking about prevention of dental problems in children on numerous occasions.
Let our tooth fairy help you and your children in adopting healthy oral hygiene habits. Reach out, call us and make an appointment, and let’s talk and make a plan.