Gum Disease Prevention: Teaching Kids Good Oral Hygiene

Little girl points to her gums without gum disease.
Little girl pointing to her healthy gums. Caption: Make oral hygiene a priority will give your kids healthy habits for life!

As a parent, you want the best for your child in terms of their health, including their oral hygiene. But you might be unsure of how to help your child learn to care for their teeth. Don’t worry, we’ve got tips and strategies that’ll help you ensure your child develops good oral health and hygiene habits as soon as possible. This can prevent serious issues such as gum disease as a child and later in life.

Implement an Oral Hygiene Routine Early On

To avoid troublesome issues like gum disease and tooth decay, get into good oral hygiene habits as early as possible. If it’s something that they grow up doing as part of a daily routine, it will stick with them as they grow into adulthood. It will become normal for them and they’ll show little resistance to the idea of brushing and flossing daily.

Make it Fun to Battle Gum Disease

Another good way to establish routines from an early age and prevent gum disease is to make it fun. Sure, brushing their teeth will probably not be the highlight of their day, but you can make it playful and engaging. Even the most dreadful of tasks, like making their bed or cleaning their room, can be made fun. For example, they can brush along with a song, pretend the brush and toothpaste are battling the bad germs (gum disease) in their mouth, you could set a timer, or use incentives.

Invest in Age-Appropriate Brushing and Cleaning Tools

Brushing and flossing are difficult for your child when they are very young. There are toddler brushes and flossing tools that make fighting gum disease much easier. Make sure to choose age-appropriate tools. It will allow your child to play an active role in their oral hygiene from an early age. They won’t have to rely on you to do it all for them.

Set a Good Example

It’s a good idea to brush your own teeth and take care of your oral hygiene while your child is also present. Gum disease is no respecter of age or gender. If you don’t properly care for your teeth, you are just as susceptible as anyone else in developing gum disease. Show your kids that it’s not something that only they have to do. Instead, it’s something that you and everyone else does, too. Kids are impressionable at a young age, and when they see their parents doing something, they’ll want to do the same.

Visit A Pediatric Dentist

Another key part of taking care of your child’s teeth to prevent gum disease is ensuring they have regular checkups with a pediatric dentist. Many offer “practice visits” for children to go see what the office is like before they have their first exam and cleaning. This way, they know what to expect and have been taught to look forward to their check-up. They won’t feel trepidation upon returning for their regular bi-annual visits.

The right pediatric dentist will not only make your child feel safe and comfortable in their care but expertly teach them how to take care of their teeth at home. They will help to establish good habits as your child grows. As they develop these habits, hopefully, they, and you, won’t ever have to worry about gum disease.

Schedule An Appointment

If you have questions or want to find out what we can do for you at Dental Partners of Boston, schedule an appointment today. We’ll be more than happy to answer any questions you might have.

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