Oral Hygiene for Kids
Children can be especially vulnerable to tooth decay because of their diet. For the healthy development and maintenance of teeth, it’s important to start building good oral care habits at a young age. Here are some tips for building those good habits in your kids.
All of the baby teeth (primary teeth) should come in by the age of three. They start to fall out and get replaced by permanent teeth at around age six. By age 13, most of the permanent teeth should be in place.
Oral care for young children
To encourage your child’s teeth to come in healthy and strong, here are some tips to follow.
- Use a pea-sized amount of fluoride toothpaste and supervise brushing to make sure that your child spits it out after brushing.
- Get your child into the practice of brushing for at least two minutes a day.
- Start flossing as soon as teeth touch, or even sooner to build healthy habits.
- Remind your child to pay attention to the back teeth; help them as needed.
- Visit the dentist every six months.
Oral hygiene for preteens
As the permanent teeth start to come in, dental hygiene becomes more important in keeping the teeth and gums healthy. The challenge is to keep preteens interested in their oral care. Here are some tips to keep them on track.
- Make sure your child continues to brush twice a day with a fluoride toothpaste for the full two minutes. Remind them that doing so not only fights cavities and strengthens teeth, but will give them fresh breath to boost their confidence.
- A power toothbrush can help make brushing more interesting.
- Continue to encourage flossing as food is more likely to get stuck in between teeth once the permanent teeth come in.
- Make sure that children who play sports always wear a mouth guard to protect themselves from oral injuries.v
Infants also require good oral care as their teeth first erupt.
- Wipe your baby’s gums with a soft washcloth after feeding.
- Once teeth begin to erupt, brush them twice a day with a tiny amount of fluoride toothpaste. Use a soft-bristle toothbrush.
- Never let a baby fall asleep with a bottle of milk (or juice or formula).
- Schedule your child’s first dentist appointment before their first birthday or after the first baby tooth has erupted, whichever comes first.