7 Dental Essentials to Teach Your Kids About Dental Hygiene

child brushing teeth

Getting your kids to brush their teeth can be challenging. However, it doesn’t have to be hard. Dental hygiene is important for kids as it reduces the risk of cavities and other oral health problems as they get older. But to get your kids to brush their teeth consistently, you need to make brushing fun. Here is how you can get started!

The right kind of toothbrush

As a parent, it is important for you to start your child off with soft-bristled toothbrushes. The bristles of a soft-bristled toothbrush are gentle on the gums and easy on the teeth. They don't wear off the protective enamel on the teeth, unlike medium- or hard-bristled toothbrushes, making them ideal for kids with braces. The softer bristles also make it easier to clean between teeth, which is why dentists highly recommend them for children.

The right kind of toothpaste

Tooth decay is one of the most common dental problems among children but it is also preventable. That's why it is so important to teach kids about fluoride and dental hygiene as soon as they are old enough to understand.

Fluoride helps prevent cavities by making teeth more resistant to decay and remineralizes areas where enamel has been damaged by fluoride loss due to decay or trauma. A smear or less than a pea-sized amount of toothpaste is enough to kickstart your child’s dental care journey.

Teach your children to brush their teeth twice a day with fluoride toothpaste to ensure their teeth and gums are stronger right from the beginning.

father and child brushing teeth

Tongue scraper

Many people don't know this but bacteria on your tongue can cause cavities in your mouth. Making sure that you clean it off with a tongue scraper will help keep your mouth clean and healthy.

Tongue scrapers help get rid of bacteria on the tongue and reduce bad breath. When using the scraper, teach your kids to gently scrape it along the tongue's surface. It should go up and down at an angle of about 15 degrees. This way, they can remove as many bacteria as possible without damaging their tongue's soft tissues or causing bleeding.

Dental floss

Dental floss can be a tough sell. It is not something that most kids are interested in using, and for those who use it, would prefer not to. But since flossing is an indispensable part of oral care, teaching children how to properly use dental floss is important.

As soon as your child has their first loose tooth, begin encouraging them to floss regularly. Start by showing them how you floss and then have them practice on a daily basis. Remember that losing can be difficult for little fingers, so it may take some time for them to get the hang of it. Be patient and monitor constantly to avoid preventable cuts and injuries.

Oral irrigator

Teeth cleaning can be done in three simple steps: brushing, tongue cleaning, and flossing. But privileges like oral irrigator should be introduced gradually as your child gets older, allowing them to adjust and become comfortable with the new routine.

An oral irrigator is an electronic device that helps you to reach the hidden areas of your mouth to remove the bacteria, food particles, and other waste materials by using a jet of water. Since kids won’t always necessarily brush their teeth properly, an oral irrigator is a piece of great equipment to ensure they learn about more dental tools while taking care of their dental hygiene simultaneously. 

Non-alcoholic mouthwash

Mouthwashes contain active ingredients that kill germs. Alcohol-based mouthwashes kill germs by drying them out while fluoride helps remineralize exposed areas of your teeth to reduce the chances of decay. And they are the most commonly used variant of mouthwash. But children should be taught about the importance of non-alcoholic mouthwashes right from the beginning as they are safer and more sustainable.

Non-alcoholic mouthwashes don’t cause loss of saliva in your mouth, which causes dehydration and ultimately leads to tooth decay and cavities. Kids should also be taught how mouthwashes can’t be used as a replacement for brushing, rather as a supplement for it.

A hygienic storage solution

No amount of knowledge and training on dental hygiene can prevent the inevitable - toothbrushes that are exposed to cross-contamination germs. Teaching your kids the importance of properly storing their toothbrushes is a huge part of dental hygiene training. And BrushGuard’s Under the Ocean toothbrush range is perfect to make learning about hygiene fun.

The fun, cheerful, and colorful characters on the toothbrush holders engage children and get them more interested in learning about how to correctly store their toothbrushes to avoid oral infection and any subsequent disease.