Family Dentist: 4 Important Tips for Kids’ Oral Hygiene

You are about to take your kids to the family dentist, and you want them to make a great first impression. That means they need to have healthy teeth and gums. Even if they are off to a late start, you can get them back on track by following these oral hygiene tips.

1. Follow proper brushing protocol

Children should brush their teeth twice a day. A family dentist would recommend holding the toothbrush at a 45-degree angle so they can properly brush every tooth's surface.

Children should use up-and-down and back-and-forth motions while brushing their teeth. They need to gently brush their gums and tongues as well.

Play the two-minute game

Many children brush their teeth quickly, but it is important to brush for at least two minutes. Parents are encouraged to find a children’s song that lasts two minutes. Play it when kids brush their teeth, and when it hits the last note, the task is done. This makes the process more enjoyable for kids

2. Select a toothpaste with fluoride

Fluoride toothpaste is recommended for all people, including kids who are just starting to brush their teeth. Approximately 25 percent of kids get cavities before kindergarten. Using a fluoride toothpaste can reduce that statistic, according to the American Dental Association.

3. Protect teeth from sugar

Sugar can do serious damage to teeth. When kids eat lots of sugar, they are prone to tooth decay. Kids need to avoid eating sugary snacks throughout the day. Replacing such snacks with healthy items, like carrots, is a great way to impress the family dentist.

What if kids cannot live without sugar?

If kids simply cannot live without sugar, there are ways they can enjoy the sweet stuff while protecting their teeth. For example, eating sugar at mealtime is better than eating it at snack time. Mouths produce more saliva at mealtime, reducing the power of the sugar.

Adding dairy into the diet also helps. Children who drink milk and eat cheese with sweets are less likely to get cavities.

4. Floss the teeth

Children should begin flossing their teeth between the ages of two and three. Kids should floss every day, and the process should last two to three minutes.

Proper flossing technique

Children should start with an 18-inch piece of floss. They need to wrap it around the middle finger of each hand. Using the thumbs and forefingers, they need to maneuver the floss up and down in between each tooth.

It is important that children use a clean piece of floss for each tooth. Otherwise, they will deposit bacteria in between their teeth.

Get kids involved in their oral health

Parents should not wait until their kids are older to begin an oral hygiene routine. As any family dentist would say, it is important that children begin brushing and flossing as soon as the first tooth erupts. Children also must use toothpaste with fluoride and avoid sugary foods and drinks to maintain oral health.

Request an appointment here: or call Dental Excellence of Greenhaven at (916) 293-0504 for an appointment in our Sacramento office.

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