Oral hygiene for kids: Tips to keep your child’s dental health in check

These oral hygiene tips for kids can help you keep your little one away from dental health problems and improve their quality of life.
Toothpaste for children
Choose a toothpaste carefully for kids. Image courtesy: Adobe Stock
Dr Krishna Prasad Published: 19 Feb 2023, 15:00 pm IST
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Teaching kids the importance of dental hygiene is one of the most important things parents and guardians can do to ensure their children’s long-term health. Good oral hygiene habits can help prevent cavities, gum disease, and other dental problems. Unfortunately, many children lack the knowledge and skills needed to develop a healthy dental hygiene routine. To help kids build good dental hygiene habits, parents should teach them on the importance of proper brushing techniques, flossing regularly, eating healthy foods, and visiting their dentist regularly.

Dental hygiene is an important part of a child’s overall well-being and should not be overlooked. It is essential to ensure that children learn the importance of dental hygiene from an early age and understand the consequences of poor oral care. As parents, it is our responsibility to help kids build good dental hygiene habits that will last them a lifetime.

Tips to build oral hygiene routine for kids

1. Make brushing fun

Make brushing teeth fun for your kids by playing music or using toothpaste with their favourite flavour.

Make brushing teeth an everyday habit
Make brushing teeth an everyday habit. Image courtesy: Shutterstock

2. Explain the importance of oral hygiene

Explain why it’s important to brush teeth twice a day and how it can prevent cavities and gum disease.

3. Set a routine

Set up a daily routine for your kids so that they know when they need to brush their teeth as part of their daily activities.

4. Lead by example

Show your children how you brush your teeth properly by letting them watch you do it.

Also read: 4 mistakes to avoid for the sake of your child’s dental health

Role of diet in dental hygiene for kids

Eating the right foods and consuming health-friendly drinks can go a long way in helping oral hygiene for kids. Here are some food and drink tips to keep children away from dental problems.

* Kids who consume excessive sweet foods and beverages also have a higher chance of developing cavities. Choose nutritious foods and limit their intake of sugar.
* Limit the amount of soda, fruit juice and other sugary beverages your child consumes.
* Avoid consumption of anything sweet between meals.
* Make sure your child brushes teeth immediately as they consume anything sweet.
* It is also good to rinse the mouth with water after eating food as this will help clear out the food particles, thus avoiding the formation of cavity.

Also read: Eating these 7 foods can harm your child’s dental health

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Keep your dental health happy
Keep your dental health happy! Image courtesy: Shutterstock

Is chewing gum safe for oral hygiene in kids?

Gum chewing is safe for older children. It may have advantages such as enhancing jaw strength, aiding saliva production, removing food debris with saliva, creating acid balance that can prevent tooth decay and improving breath. However, sugar-filled gum might result in cavities. You should either limit your child’s consumption of sugar-filed gum or only offer them sugar-free gum.

The last word

It is important to teach children the importance of proper dental hygiene as early as possible to ensure they have healthy teeth and gums throughout their life. Teaching kids about dental hygiene can be difficult but it doesn’t have to be. With a few simple tips, parents can help their kids learn how to take care of their teeth and keep them healthy for years to come. From regular brushing and flossing habits, to choosing the right foods and drinks, these tips will help kids build good dental hygiene habits.

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About the Author

Dr Krishna Prasad is a consultant – paediatrician at Motherhood Hospitals, Electronic City, Bengaluru. He started his career in 2011 as a senior resident in paediatrics in Manipal hospital, Bengaluru. He later joined Motherhood Hospitals in 2014. He has a special interest in newborn care, diet, nutrition, growth, development, and infectious diseases. He is caring and has utmost patience in handling kids. ...Read More

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