Oral Health and Genetic Risk Factors

Key Dental Hygiene Tips for Young Children

If you set your child up with good oral hygiene in their early years, you'll be giving them good habits they can use for a lifetime. But as any parent knows, getting young children into any type of routine can feel challenging. This is especially the case when they become toddlers and develop some autonomy. While you may not master the task with perfection, there are certain actions you can take to make life easier for both of you.

Try a Musical Toothbrush

Even adults find that brushing their teeth is monotonous. As such, it should come as no surprise when your little one grows bored of the routine. One way to overcome this is by choosing a musical toothbrush. The tune may make the task slightly more enticing for your child. Additionally, if you find a toothbrush that plays a tune for the number of minutes your child must brush their teeth for, they'll instinctively know when the task should begin and end. 

Focus on the Fluoride

Your child can benefit from toothpaste containing fluoride from around the age of 18 months. However, you should only use a pea-sized amount rather than the generous portion you'd use with older children. Fluoride reduces the harms of bad oral bacteria. It also strengthens your child's enamel, reduces mineral loss and combats the early signs of decay. To make the experience more enjoyable for your little one, try a toothpaste that comes in a flavour other than mint.

Be Kind to Baby's Gums

Around the time your baby starts teething, you should begin cleaning their gums. You can do this using a damp, clean washcloth until the point that their teeth appear. Wipe the washcloth along the gums gently to remove any bacteria that are lingering there. Once your baby's teeth appear, speak to your dentist about using the right type of toothbrush and toothpaste for your infant's age.

Give the Tongue Attention

Your child's tongue will harbour bacteria in the same way that yours does. It's a good idea to initiate gentle tongue brushing at a young age so that they get used to the sensation. Once they have the dexterity to do so, ask them to begin brushing their tongue themselves. A few quick swipes are enough, as brushing too vigorously may put them off engaging with the task.

Finally, make sure you introduce your little one to their dentist at a young age. The sooner they adapt to a dental environment, the less likely it is they'll develop a fear of it.