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Teaching Your Child Proper Oral Hygiene Skills

Do your kids need a little help with their oral hygiene skills? Teaching them how to brush, floss and make healthy food choices can decrease their cavity risk. The Roanoke, VA, pediatric dentists at Hunting Hills Family Dentistry can help your children keep their smiles bright and healthy with regular checkups and dental care services.

Start with an explanation

Your kids know that brushing and flossing is something they're supposed to do every day, but they might not understand why good oral hygiene is important. They may quickly lose interest if you explain how enamel-destroying acids form when bacteria in plaque interacts with sugars and carbohydrates in foods.

Although kids may not appreciate complicated explanations, they probably do have a basic understanding of germs. Explain that brushing and flossing remove germs that build up on their teeth. If they don't brush or floss regularly, those germs can cause cavities.

Make oral hygiene fun

Kids are more likely to brush or floss without complaint if you add a little fun to the process. Let them choose a toothbrush that features a favorite cartoon character or plays music when they brush.

Show your kids how to brush and floss

Explain that it's important to brush all sides of the teeth to prevent cavities. Show them how you brush your teeth or use a doll to illustrate good brushing techniques. Use short strokes and angle the brush toward the gum line. Don't forget to demonstrate how to floss too. Most kids need a little supervision with brushing and flossing until they're seven or even older.

Keep kids' preferences in mind

Many kids don't like mint-flavored toothpastes. If you insist that they use the same toothpaste you use, they may not spend enough time brushing. Look for toothpastes that offer kid-approved flavors, like bubblegum or strawberry. Make sure that the toothpaste you choose contains fluoride. The ingredient remineralizes weak areas of tooth enamel and can help prevent cavities.

Offer healthy foods

Healthy eating is essential for your child's general and oral health. Foods and beverages high in sugars or carbohydrates can increase your son or daughter's risk of cavities. Milk or water are much better choices than fruit juice or soda. If you do serve fruit juice, add water to decrease the amount of sugar.

Protect your child's oral health with good oral hygiene and regular visits to Hunting Hills Family Dentistry in Roanoke, VA. Call your child's pediatric dentists at (540) 523-1326 to schedule an appointment with your pediatric dentist.

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