Oral Hygiene Guide for Kids Cerritos CA

Oral Hygiene Guide for Kids

Oral Hygiene Guide for Kids Cerritos, CA

How can you ensure that your kids will be happy and healthy during their childhood and adult years? One way is by introducing them to oral health care practices at an early age. Another way is to take them to their Cerritos dentist regularly. These two components of good oral health can help your kids keep most, if not all, of their teeth for a lifetime while reducing their risk of pain and health issues related to poor oral health.

When Should You Start Caring for Your Child’s Teeth?

Oral hygiene for kids starts the moment you bring your little one home. After nursing or bottle-feeding, use a damp, soft washcloth to gently wipe their gums clean. You can do this when they develop their first tooth as well.

Around this time, you’ll also want to invest in a child’s toothbrush. The toothbrush head is smaller, and the handle is bigger – great for little ones. The brush easily fits into their mouth, and they have more control over it because of the larger handle.

Of course, for the first few years of their life, you’ll be the one brushing their teeth for them. But this is the best way for them to learn about the importance of oral hygiene for kids and how to practice it.

At What Age Should You Start Flossing Your Child’s Teeth?

Around age two to three years, your child’s teeth will start to touch. This is a great time to start flossing.

Flossing a toddler’s teeth isn’t always going to be easy and you’re probably not always going to be able to do a perfect job. That’s ok – something is better than nothing. Plus, you’re teaching your child about the importance of daily dental home care.

Be sure to talk to your Cerritos dentist about when it’s best to start flossing their teeth as each child has unique needs. Plus, your dental team can provide pediatric oral hygiene tips that can make the job so much easier.

Oral Hygiene for Kids Cerritos CA
Oral Hygiene Regimen for Kids Cerritos CA

Oral Hygiene for Kids – Why Is It So Important?

Some people think that baby teeth aren’t important. If a child gets a cavity and loses a tooth earlier than normal, it’s no big deal.

Actually, it is, for three main reasons.

First, your child’s teeth – yes, even the ones that will fall out in a few years, serve multiple important purposes. They help your child learn to speak clearly and correctly, as well as help them chew their food thoroughly and comfortably. Keeping their baby teeth until they’re supposed to come out is vital for:

  • A beautiful smile
  • Confidence in the way they look and speak
  • Optimal nutrient absorption
  • Good digestion
  • Healthy adult teeth
  • Optimal occlusion and jaw alignment

If a child loses a tooth before it’s supposed to come out, the adjacent teeth will shift to fill in the space. This can lead to alignment issues, which can damage their other teeth and create jaw issues, leading to severe malocclusion or TMJ disorder.

Also, since baby teeth are so small, dental decay can reach the pulp (nerve) of the tooth faster than in an adult tooth. When decay reaches the pulp chamber it can cause a lot of pain and result in dying tissue, something that can only be remedied with an extraction or pediatric root canal treatment (pulpotomy).

The second reason why it’s important to care for baby teeth is that the earlier you teach your child to care for their teeth, the better. Trying to introduce dental home care practices when they’re older might be met with resistance, which can lead to a lot of frustration. However, if you practice oral hygiene with kids from the start, it quickly becomes part of their routine and they’re less likely to put up a fight. (Note: It also helps to make the process fun!)

Finally, cavities in baby teeth can be painful and we know you don’t want to see your child in pain. Things happen, though. Kids fall and scrape their knees. Some pain is inevitable in life. But you can help protect them from dental pain by practicing good oral hygiene at home from an early age.

How Do You Brush Your Child’s Teeth?

Start by standing behind your child. By positioning yourself this way, you’ll not only allow your child to see what you’re doing in the mirror, but you’ll also have better control of the toothbrush.

Make sure to use just a small amount of toothpaste. About a pea-sized amount is just right.

Do your best to brush your child’s teeth for two minutes twice a day. Now, we all know how time doesn’t fly for kids. Two minutes can seem like a lifetime. Try making the process fun. Turn it into a game. Give them a reward at the end. Play their favorite song (Baby Shark, anyone?).

If you need any other pediatric oral hygiene tips or recommendations regarding the best toothpaste for kids, let your Cerritos dentist know. We’re happy to help.

How Do You Teach Your Child to Practice Regular Oral Hygiene?

As your child grows, give them a bit of control when it comes to their oral hygiene. Let them put the toothpaste on the toothbrush. Let them brush their teeth themselves. Always supervise them to make sure they aren’t swallowing the toothpaste and that they’re really getting their teeth clean.

With time, you’ll be able to explain to your child the importance of oral hygiene for kids. Your Cerritos dentist will likely have age-appropriate information and terminology that is helpful. They’ll share these during your child’s dental appointments and can teach you, too, so you can use the information to keep teaching your kids at home.

Oral Hygiene Routine Habits for Kids Cerritos CA
Oral Hygiene Dentist for Kids Cerritos CA

When Should Your Child See Their Cerritos Dentist for the First Time?

The American Dental Association recommends that children visit the dentist for the first time as soon after their first tooth erupts as possible. This occurs usually around the six-month mark but anytime between six and 12 months is a fine time to set up an appointment with your child’s Cerritos dentist.

Regular dental visits that start at an early age can help prevent major dental problems. Because they’re evaluating your child’s teeth every six months, the dentist can monitor problem areas, like early signs of possible malocclusion issues. They can also spot decay early and treat it when it is shallow and not painful.

At these dental appointments, your child’s teeth will be cleaned, ensuring good gum health, too. Plus, they’ll receive a fluoride treatment to remineralize the teeth and help prevent decay.

Give Your Children the Gift of Good Oral Health

Oral health problems are not only painful and annoying, but they can also be physically devastating. Gum disease, for example, is closely linked to heart disease, diabetes, and stroke.

You love your kids and want them to be happy and healthy during their childhood years and on into adulthood. One of the best things you can do to help ensure that is to show them the importance of oral hygiene from an early age.

Your Cerritos dentist and their caring team are ready to help you do this, too, so you never have to go it alone!

Good Oral Habits Now Can Help Protect Your Child’s Teeth for A Lifetime

If you’d like to learn more about pediatric dental care and oral hygiene for kids, contact our team today!


CALL (562) 414-5064

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