Grooming your Child: Dental Care

Editorial Team
Tips for ParentWritten by: Editorial TeamPublished at: Feb 04, 2013
Grooming your Child: Dental Care

Dental care and good dental hygiene must be a part of your child’s daily self care and hygiene activity. This will keep their teeth and gums healthy and free of disease. You need to teach them that good oral hygiene makes their mouth appear and smell healthy and avoids bad breath. Healthy teeth and gums help to make them look and feel good. Daily care of teeth should include proper brushing and rinsing of mouth after eating.


Certain measures that can significantly decrease the risk of caries (tooth decay), gum disease and other dental problems in your child are

  • Brushing thoroughly twice a day (in the morning, and before sleeping at night), Use a fluoride toothpaste. Fluoride is a mineral that strengthens tooth enamel, which can decrease the risk of decay.
  • Avoiding foods that stick to teeth and avoiding foods and drinks that contain excessive amounts of acid and sugar.
  • Practice of good eating habits. Encourage them to eat a balanced diet. Their diet must contain calcium-rich foods such as milk and cheese as calcium makes teeth and bones strong.
  • Rinsing mouth with water to remove food residue after eating
  • Regular visits to a dentist for check up every six to 12 months. First dental visit is recommended when a child is about one year old, but most children don’t visit a dentist until they have a problem. Your child should have regular dental check ups. Preventive care averts problems from occurring and controls minor problems from becoming major ones
  • Treat any dental problem that occurs promptly.
  • Ensure that your children younger than 12 years drink fluorinated water. If you live in areas where fluorine content in water is less give them a fluoride supplement.

Tips to prevent Dental Health Problems in you child

  • Make your children brush their teeth twice daily. Most children need help to brush until they are 6-7 years of age.
  • Teach them about good eating habits and limit their snacking between meals specially foods that are rich in fermentable carbohydrates and foods that stick to their teeth.
  • Limit your child’s consumption of foods and drinks that contain excessive amounts of acid and sugar frequently.
  • Visit a dentist for their check up every six to 12 months and get any dental problem treated promptly.

Some Tips on brushing

  • Brush at least twice a day: Make your child brush at least twice a day (in the morning and at night). Brushing at night helps to remove food debris that may be sticking to their teeth, as during sleep the saliva decreases, which makes the teeth more vulnerable to bacterial acids.
  • Brush lightly: Teach your child to brush lightly as brushing hard can cause gums to recede over time.  Show them to hold the toothbrush like a pen, as this encourages lighter strokes.
  • Brush for at least two minutes: Make them brush for at least for two minutes as this is the minimum time required to adequately clean all the teeth.
  • Change toothbrush regularly: Change your child’s toothbrush every three months or if the bristles splay. Old tooth brush or brushes with splayed bristles do not clean the teeth properly. If the bristles flare much before three months, then your child may be brushing too hard.
  • The toothbrush: Give your child a toothbrush with "soft" or "extra soft" bristles as it decreases the risk of damage to gums. Use a toothbrush that is approved by the Indian Dental Association. But the most important thing is that you teach your child the correct brushing technique.
  • The toothpaste: Use toothpaste that contains fluoride as fluoride has been proven to prevent, stop or even reverse the tooth decay. If required consult your...