Reinforcing Oral Hygiene in Children

Brushing kids' teeth influences the future oral hygiene in children. For this reason, it's important to teach kids about hygiene from a young age!
Reinforcing Oral Hygiene in Children

Last update: 25 May, 2020

Promoting good oral hygiene in children is extremely important because their future dental health depends on it. Children can get cavities too.

The best way to fight this problem is to prevent and teach good oral hygiene habits from childhood. Do you want to find out how to take care of oral hygiene in children? Keep reading!

What is oral hygiene in children?

A mom reinforcing oral hygiene in children.

Taking care of your children’s teeth means much more than preventing them from turning yellow. Although this is a problem that bothers us aesthetically, good oral hygiene in children is much more than having shiny white teeth.

When we talk about keeping their mouths clean, we’re talking about teeth, cheeks, and tongue. A healthy mouth is:

  • Healthy and white teeth, without food remains or the presence of plaque and/or tartar
  • Pink gums, which don’t bleed or hurt when brushing your teeth
  • Fresh breath

Now, what do kids need to take care of their teeth at home? Do you need to buy more than just a toothbrush and toothpaste?

Complements for children’s oral hygiene

Dentists recommend that we adults brush our teeth, floss and use mouthwash at least twice a day. What about children? Let’s see what they need to keep their mouths clean and healthy.

  • Toothbrush: This must be age-appropriate. You can ask your trusted dentist what kind of bristles are best for your little one. Also, it’s important for kids to learn to brush their teeth manually, even if they have an electric toothbrush.
  • Toothpaste: Choose a toothpaste that’s age-appropriate as well. Also, talk to your dentist about the best brand and whether or not it should have fluoride.
  • Dental floss: We recommend that children starting at age 4 use dental floss with help. Around the age of 8 or 9, they’ll be ready to do it themselves.

Tips for oral hygiene in children

Good oral hygiene in children implies prevention! Of course, the first step for our little ones to have healthy white teeth is to take care of them before they have problems. For this, it’s important to follow these tips:

1. Start brushing teeth at an early age

A baby crawling on the carpet.

Often, we think that oral hygiene in children only refers to brushing teeth, but that’s not true. For this reason, it’s important to take care of your children’s mouths from when they’re babies.

Clean their gums with a piece of gauze. Then, when your little one’s teeth come in, brush them gently. That way, you can prevent them from developing baby bottle tooth decay.

2. Brush your teeth at least twice a day

Ideally, children would brush three times a day: when they wake up, after lunch and after dinner. Brushing correctly means:

  • Put a small amount of toothpaste on the brush. It shouldn’t be larger than a pea.
  • Brush the inside part of the teeth first, one by one. Remember, place the brush at an angle to also brush where the teeth meet the gums.
  • Clean the outer surfaces of the teeth, one by one. Keep brushing at an angle.
  • Brush the tops of the teeth, one by one. In addition, pay special attention to the back teeth.
  • Finally, don’t forget to also brush the tongue.

If your children are over four years old, you can start flossing, making sure not to damage their gums. Be patient because it’ll probably be hard at first.

Note: It’s important to change the brush regularly when it starts looking worn.

3. Avoid excess sugars

Lots of lollipops and sweets.

Kids can eat sweets, of course, but in moderation. For example, candies stick to their teeth. Then, if little ones don’t brush their teeth, that sugar can damage their teeth, causing cavities.

4. Eat a balanced diet

A healthy diet isn’t just good for your health, but also for oral health in particular. Include foods rich in calcium, phosphorus and fluorine in your children’s diet so they have strong and healthy teeth!

5. Choose water as the preferred drink

A child drinking water.

Sugary drinks can damage teeth. Imagine if your child doesn’t clean his teeth after drinking a glass of juice. Those sugars stay in their mouth and can cause different problems.

6. Go to the dentist

At least once a year, kids should go to the dentist. Take advantage of that moment to talk to them about how to care for your child’s teeth best.

Finally, oral hygiene in children is essential, not only for the present but also for the future. If you have questions about brushing, talk to your doctor. No one can advise you better than them.

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