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How To Teach Your Child Good Dental Hygiene

Healthy habits begin at home! For that reason, it’s very important you teach your children good dental hygiene from a young age. Learn how to do that with our best strategies for keeping your kids’ teeth in tip-top shape.

What Do I Need to Know About Kids and Cavities?

Unfortunately, tooth decay is the number one dental problem among preschoolers. Worse still, cavities are fairly rampant in the 5-and-under age group. Consider the statistics:

  • By the age of 2, 10% of kids have a cavity
  • By the age of 3, 28% of kids have a cavity and
  • By the age of 5, almost half of all kids have one or more cavities

While this may not seem like a big deal—after all, they’re baby teeth—most parents are surprised to learn that early dental decay can negatively affect “adult” teeth, causing dental problems years down the road.

What Can I Do to Improve My Children’s Oral Health?

There are a number of things you can do to encourage good oral hygiene habits in your children:

  • Supervise the Little Ones. If your kids are under the age of 7, they’ll need some help with brushing. After breakfast and before bedtime, monitor their brushing, assisting to ensure even their back teeth are clean. If kids are very young, brush their teeth for them.
  • Give Them Gum Care Guidelines. Good brushing isn’t just about cleaning teeth’s surfaces. It’s also about cleaning beneath the gum line. Explain this to kids so they learn good brushing techniques early on.
  • Make Brushing Fun. The more kids enjoy brushing, the more likely they’ll take to the habit naturally. Add some fun to brushing time by playing music or telling kids a story while they brush.
  • Limit Sugary Snacks and Drinks. The bacteria that causes tooth decay thrives on sugar. In fact, sugar is bacteria’s only source of energy. Rather than allowing kids to sip juice cups all day, get them in the habit of drinking water between meals.
  • Offer Healthy Snacks. Hungry kids will eat nutritious snacks if junk food isn’t around. Eliminate sugary treats from your home and offer an array of healthy snacks to kids like cheese, fruit, or vegetables. Pro tip: if you allow kids to select the healthy snacks themselves, they’ll be even more likely to enjoy them.
  • Don’t Skip Flossing. As with brushing, flossing is an important part of good oral care. Teach your kids how to floss and make sure they do it at least once a day, preferably before bedtime. If your children are under the age of 10, be prepared to help them floss correctly.
  • Schedule Regular Dental Appointments. Tartar can’t be removed by brushing alone. In addition to taking care of kids’ teeth at home, schedule regular dental checkups for your children every six months.

How Can I Schedule a Dental Appointment for My Child?

It’s easy to schedule your child’s dentist appointment at Murray Hill Dental. Simply fill out our online form or give us a call.

To reach our N. Murray Hill Road office servicing the Western Columbus area, please contact 614-878-1188. To reach our Northern location in Westerville, call 614-890-5022.

About the Page Author

Melissa Brown, DDS

Melissa Brown, DDS, FAGD, D. ABDSM is the founder of Murray Hill Dental. She enthusiastically shares her love of dentistry with all her patients and brings a caring perspective to their general dental needs. A native of Columbus, Ohio, Dr. Brown earned her undergraduate degree in Zoology from Miami University in 1996, and her DDS from the Ohio State University College of Dentistry in 2004.