Parents’ Role in Kids’ Oral Hygiene

teaching kids to brush your teethThe foundation of healthy kids teeth starts during their first year.

Parents should always understand their role to guide their kids in learning of tooth brushing and floss to maintain healthy early habits in oral hygiene. Studies show that poor oral hygiene and poor diet will develop fast developing caries in primary teeth and then will increase the risk of cavities on permanent teeth.

So if parents think that there is no need to fix baby teeth cavities it is absolutely wrong! Cavities bacteria can travel and damage permanent teeth too.

Both kids and teenagers, the same as adults, can develop different stages of gum disease if there is no regular oral hygiene. That is why it is essential to develop early habits of oral hygiene as part of regular routine hygiene.

There are some recommendations for parents to establish oral hygiene for kids :

Find the right size of a toothbrush.

Usually, you can find age limits for brush on market packages, but all kids grow differently, so you have to look if the toothbrush is not too big or too small.

It is recommended to have it soft and round shape, not to damage gums and soft tissues. Kids toothbrushes have to be changed every 3-4 month.

Kids teeth before 3 years old have to be brushed by parents only with gentle pressure and care. Kids teeth 3-6 years old should brush a few minutes themselves and then parents should assist them to finish to make sure teeth had proper brushing.

Parents should be a great example and model for kids of this age. Kids after 6 should be supervised by parents to make sure they do it the right way and enough time up till the age of 9. The rest you can leave to your dental hygienist to follow with oral hygiene of your kids.


Use the right toothpaste and right amount

It is not recommended to use too much toothpaste on kids toothbrushes. It is enough to have chickpea size of toothpaste, so there will be less risk of swallowing a big amount of paste. For the smaller kids before age of 3, you can use a very small amount (rice-size grain),or don’t use it at all. If you believe you need it, then it is better to consult with your hygienist or dentist.

It is recommended to have toothpaste with fluoride for kids just because it protects teeth from cavities by making teeth enamel stronger. Most of kids toothpaste have a certain amount of fluoride that approved by Government Health Canada.

Kids after the age of 6 can spit toothpaste already so you can use fluoride paste with no worries.

Quality and quantity of kids brushing their teeth is essential.

It is recommended to have kids tooth brushing two times a day or more, depending on kids diet. The toothbrushing has to be 5-6’ regularly with a manual toothbrush or 2’ with electric toothbrushes.

It is important to have mouth clean during the sleeping time, as during night time there is minimal saliva in your mouth and if any bacteria and sugar left on teeth it will help to develop cavities and damage enamel. Saliva helps to wash off anything from your teeth during the daytime.

Tongue cleaning is recommended regularly every night.

The right diet for your kids.

It is important always to remember that sugar and acid drinks or food will make your teeth surfaces weaken and eventually the teeth will develop cavities. We all know that it is hard sometimes keep kids away from sweets and soft drinks

Follow some recommendations to keep kids teeth safe:

  • ask or remind them to brush regularly and learn to floss
  • rinse with water after each meal or sweets consumption if no time to brush teeth during the day in school.
  • stay away from sticky candies, because they are sticky and it is hard to wash it off from teeth.
  • Use of fluoride rinse is recommended for kids with a high risk of cavities development. Ask your hygienist or dentist if your kid need it.

If you have some personal questions, please send me an email or feel free to call.