Oral hygiene for kids needs to be approached in a systematic way to ensure that they are happy to perform their oral hygiene activities. In this article, we will review top three oral hygiene tips for kids to help achieve clean teeth and fresh breath. Kids also need to be introduced to each of these activities at the right age.
By far the single most talked about and popular, regular tooth brushing is a means to achieving oral hygiene for our kids. It is recommended that brushing is done twice a day; in the mornings and at night before bed.
Kids are typically very active during the daytime, and therefore exert lots of energy. The consequence of this activity is more frequent meals and/or snacks. Meal deposits (plaques) have a sneaky way of hiding between the teeth, which if not well attended to can encourage the growth of bacteria. Such deposits continue to work their way deep into the teeth and gums with the potential of causing tooth havoc. That is why brushing at night is hugely important.
Kids that brush at night enjoy the benefits of fresher breath, treat any plaque deposits and prevent cavities from forming.
Flossing is the next go-to. A floss is a cord of tiny filaments used to remove foods and dental plaques from between teeth. There are different types of floss, which includes the waxed, unwaxed mono-filament and multi-filaments. The benefits of flossing are numerous and it is recommended that flossing is done after each meal.
Flossing must be done with care and using the right technique. The technique is based on the type of floss.
- Flosser – this is a hand-held device that is held between two fingers (the thumb and index fingers). It is guided gently between two teeth in an alternate forward and backward motion. Again, care should be taken to ensure that the gums are not hurt.
- Dental Floss – when using dental floss, hand washing is strongly recommended as the fingers would typically get into the mouth. Thin cords of dental floss are wound around fingers on both hands and used in motions that help to clean out plaques.
A first note of caution with mouthwash is that children less than 6 years should not be allowed to use mouthwash. The reason is that kids of this age can readily swallow the mouthwash, which has alcohol – where an adult mouthwash is used. A strong recommendation is to only use mouthwash made for kids as they are alcohol-free yet have active ingredients that kill bacteria and prevent tooth decay.
Kids-ready mouthwash comes in appealing flavours that make them want to follow through on their oral health.
Why Oral Care
The entire goal is to ensure that parents are able to build an oral cleaning routine for their kids. This will be a lot difficult, where not impossible, where the appropriate technique is not introduced early or at the right time. Also, because kids are quick to seek independence from adult help, it is important to ensure that they look forward to caring for their teeth by brushing, flossing and using the mouthwash and one way to do this is to ensure that they have fun cleaning their teeth.
Kids learn through various means; a major means of their learning is through observation. That is why it is encouraged that:
- Parents and their kids observe the above activities together
- Parents should create learning around oral hygiene with their kids
- Invest in toothbrushes that speak to your kids’ interest, and
- Ensure regular dental visits for their kids
Remember that your kids deserve healthy and confident smiles. So, keep these top three oral hygiene tips for kids close to mind while caring for their oral health.