Pediatric Smiles of Bloomington Blog

Parent Cheat Sheet: 10 Dental Hygiene Tips for Kids

Posted by Pediatric Smiles of Bloomington on Jan 5, 2022 10:45:00 AM


Getting children to brush their teeth can be a grueling task, but it’s important for them not to have cavities. Not only will not having cavities not bring them pain and discomfort, it will also help with a healthy smile and painless dentist visits. 

Besides brushing their teeth, there are other ways to help your child have good dental hygiene, so here are some tips just for you parents:

  1. Start early
    Probably the most important thing to make sure you do is to start early with dental hygiene. The earlier you start, the more routine your child will feel when brushing and flossing their teeth and even going to the dentist. Your child’s first dentist appointment should be around their first birthday or whenever their first tooth grows in. After that, it should be once every six months. 

  2. Brushing
    Brushing your teeth twice a day is very important for both adults and children, so make sure you brush your child’s teeth with care, making sure to go slow and get every inch of their teeth. Also make sure to buy fluoride toothpaste until your child turns around six. Then buy non fluoride toothpaste for them. Make sure to brush their tongue as well. When the bristles on the toothbrush bend outward, throw it out and get a new one.

  3. Flossing
    Just like brushing your teeth, flossing your teeth is equally as important, so make sure you floss your child’s teeth at least once a day. When they get older, make sure they know how to floss their own teeth. You can get the stick form of the floss for your child until they are old enough to use the string kind. 

  4. Rinse daily with mouthwash
    Also like brushing and flossing your teeth, make sure your child rinses with mouthwash at least once a day when they are old enough. About the time when they switch over to non fluoride toothpaste, you can start teaching them how to rinse with mouthwash.

  5. Teach your children
    As your child grows up and learns to do things on their own, make sure they know how to brush and floss their own teeth. Teach them the proper way to brush their teeth--every morning and night, at least two minutes, use circular motions--and how to floss. Your child will pick up on how to do these things if you take the time to teach them. 

  6. Check your water
    This one may be weird, but check to see how much fluoride is in your water. Fluoride is essential for growing kids because it helps build healthier teeth, but too much fluoride is actually harmful for kids. Kids may get fluoride in toothpaste, but most everyone else gets fluoride by their drinking water. 

  7. Fight baby bottle tooth decay
    For babies, do not put them to bed with a bottle. As soon as a baby gets their first tooth, they are at risk for cavities. Putting them down with a bottle causes the sugars in the milk to sit on their teeth overnight, breaking down the enamel and causing the teeth to rot. Just like how you brush your teeth after every meal, you need to clean your baby’s mouth after every feeding and especially before bed.

  8. Avoid sugar
    The oldest trick in the book, but it works. Try to avoid unnecessary sugar at all times. This will not only help your child not be bouncing off the walls, but it will also help decrease their chances of getting cavities. 

  9. Keep your cool
    I know having a child is crazy at some points, but also make sure that you stay calm. You freaking out or raising your voice is not going to help anyone. Especially with dental visits, if you are stressed,  then your child is going to stress as well, and it’s important that they are comfortable when going to the dentist. 

  10. Childproof your home
    Besides cavities, the most common reason kids go to the dentist is for broken or chipped teeth. Children are accident prone, and they’re going to fall and injure themselves, so make sure you childproof your home as much as possible, so your child doesn’t fall and break their tooth. 

One of your main goals as the parent is to provide good dental hygiene for your child, starting now and continuing for the rest of your life. You don’t know what’s going to happen in the future, but for now, do the best you can in making sure your child has a healthy and beautiful smile.  

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