7 Oral Hygiene Tips To Practice With Your Kids

Establishing good oral hygiene with your kids at an early age will encourage lifelong healthy habits. Healthy baby teeth keep jawlines straight and hold the space for adult teeth to grow into. However, cavities and untreated gum disease can compromise a kids’ ability to eat well, sleep properly, and function at school.

Kids might not keep their baby teeth for long, but that’s no reason to ignore proper dental hygiene. Here are seven dental hygiene tips to practice with your kids to keep their smiles bright and healthy for a long time.

Start a daily brushing and flossing routine

As soon as your child has teeth, you can start brushing them with a small, soft-bristled toothbrush with a cushioned head and a tiny, pea-sized dab of non-fluoridated toothpaste. Once your child’s teeth begin to fill in, then begin flossing daily. Flossing helps remove food the particles that encourage bacteria growth and cavities.

Start regular dental checkups

Once your child’s primary teeth break through you can plan your child’s first dentist appointment. Schedule your child’s dental visit no later than your child’s first birthday then every six months thereafter to ensure their teeth are developing properly. The ADA has established these dental guidelines to check for cavities and other problems like thumb sucking.

Practice brushing and flossing until the age of 7

Children 7 and younger don’t have the manual dexterity to properly brush and floss, so you’ll need to help them. Allow your kids to do it themselves first, then follow up, focusing primarily on the back teeth where cavities most often develop. When your child is ready to brush on their own, a battery-operated toothbrush can help them achieve a thorough clean.

Make oral hygiene fun

Oral care might seem like a chore for many kids, so try to find ways to make brushing and flossing fun. Let them pick out toothbrushes featuring their favorite characters and children’s fluoridated toothpaste in fun flavors like bubblegum and tropical fruit. You can also use fun timers to ensure your child brushes for a full two minutes and take advantage of the smartphone apps available to integrate games into your child’s brushing regime.

Serve healthy foods

Serving healthy foods and avoid sugary food and drinks to decrease the risk of cavities and tooth decay. You can also decrease the negative effects of sugar on teeth by only offering treats after mealtime, when the amount of saliva in your child’s mouth is greatest and best able to protect their teeth. Additionally, serving milk with treats acts as a buffer to the acids and sugars.

Consider sealants

Around age 6 or 7, when your child’s back molars have fully grown in, it might be a good idea to consider sealants, which are permanent coatings that help prevent cavities. However, having sealants is not an excuse to be lax with your child’s oral health—daily brushing and flossing is still recommended.

Consult your dentist

If your child starts to show signs of gum disease (swollen gums, bleeding while brushing and flossing, persistent bad breath, or other symptoms), it might be time to consult a children’s specialist. A periodontist specializes in gum disease and will be able to diagnose and treat your child and offer suggestions to halt or prevent the development of periodontal disease altogether.

Sedation and Implant Dentists offer trusted, comprehensive dental care from one convenient location in Los Angeles County. Our dentists engage in ongoing continuing education to provide patients with the latest advances in dentistry including modern dental implant solutions, custom crowns and bridges and transformative 3D technology. The team at Sedation Dentists strive to ease all patients who suffer from dental anxiety, and takes pride in offering an inviting, comfortable environment for every treatment. Sedation and Implant Dentists offer IV sedation in-house as well as nitrous oxide to patients.

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by Thomas Gonzales D.D.S.

Thomas Gonzales D.D.S. is a Los Angeles dentist with advanced training in dental implants. He has 46 years’ experience and is licensed in IV Sedation. Dr. Gonzales has taught courses worldwide on dental implants including for Noris Medical, Nobel, Neodent, LVI Global and Dental Implant Institute. He was a professor of IV Sedation at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas School of Dental Medicine and a neuromuscular dentistry instructor for Loma Linda Medical Center. He is a member of several prestigious organizations, including: the International Congress of Oral Implantologists, American Academy of Implant Dentistry, American Academy of Craniofacial Pain, Dental Organization for Conscious Sedation and American Dental Society of Anesthesiology. Dr. Gonzales is a graduate of the University of Southern California School of Dentistry. He served in the United States Army and is a Vietnam War Veteran.

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