Skip to Main Content

A warm welcome to patients from Dr. Riley Schaffer Dentistry. Learn more

How To Teach Oral Hygiene To Kids

You can start teaching your kids good dental health habits from the moment they are babies. Here, our Sault Ste. Marie dentists discuss some ways to teach oral hygiene to your kids.

Oral Hygiene for Infants (up to age 2)

You can begin your child's good oral hygiene and health even before their first teeth erupt by caring for their gumline.

Here’s how you should care for a baby’s teeth and gums:

  • After feeding, wipe the baby’s gums with a soft washcloth to remove bacteria, which cause tooth decay.
  • Once teeth begin to arrive, brush twice daily with a grain-sized amount of toothpaste on a soft-bristled toothbrush.
  • Book your baby’s first dental appointment before their first birthday or after his or her first baby tooth has come in - whichever arrives first.
  • Limit soother use to nap time or bedtime starting at one or two years old.

Oral Hygiene for Children (aged 3 to 9)

Here are some age-appropriate oral care lessons for children aged three and up:

  • Teach the importance of diet for healthy teeth. For excellent oral hygiene, calcium-rich foods like green vegetables, cheese, and yogurt are key.
  • Limit sugary foods, fruit juices, and soda, which get stuck in the crevices of kids’ teeth and become a breeding ground for bacteria.
  • Brush and floss together. Kids love copying adults, so take advantage of this by having them watch you brush and floss while explaining the process. Build good habits by starting to floss once a day when teeth touch (around 6 years of age).
  • Choose a special brush and toothpaste. Make brushing fun by choosing a brightly coloured, soft-bristled toothbrush and flavoured toothpaste your child loves (use a pea-sized amount).

Oral Hygiene for Pre-Teens (aged 10 to 12)

Kids become more independent with their dental hygiene as they enter their pre-teen years. Here are some ways you can help protect their oral hygiene prior to this:

  • Discourage tobacco use. Not only are smoking and tobacco terrible for your lungs, but tobacco can also lead to many diseases, such as gum disease and oral cancers.
  • Remind your pre-teen to drink water, and keep your fridge full of healthy snacks.
  • Remind them how great a healthy, white smile looks. Appeal to appearance-conscious pre-teens by reminding them that maintaining excellent oral health will keep their teeth strong and their smile white.
  • Continue regular dental visits.

To ask more questions about children's dental hygiene or to book your child a dental appointment, contact our Sault Ste. Marie dental team today.

New Patients Always Welcome

Looking for a dentist in Sault Ste. Marie? We're happily welcoming new patients at our dental clinic! Contact us to get started today. 

Request Appointment

(705) 942-9200