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Oral Health Tips for Your Child Regardless of Their Age

Letting your child to take care of their teeth, mouth, and gums can seem like a daunting task! By using the tips in this article, it doesn’t necessarily need to be. Here are some tips on how to promote the dental health of your child, no matter their age.

The importance of oral health cannot be understated, and teaching this fact to your son or daughter may prove quite the challenge. While you may understand the importance of taking care of your teeth after years of life lived, your children do not possess that experience and are not fully aware of the negative impacts of neglecting their teeth. Some consequences can include:

  • Severe tooth and gum health issues
  • Expensive dental work
  • Pain and discomfort for your child

If you need help convincing your child why they need to look after their oral health, here are some tips you can use at any point during their adolescence.

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Dental Care and Hygiene Tips For Your Child At All Points In Their Life

As a parent, the most important thing to you is the health and well-being of your child. Having good oral health is one crucial piece of that entire puzzle. If you aren’t a dentist or dental hygienist, you may feel lost on how you can help your child take care of their teeth. Who could blame you! Who remembers the specific details of how you cared for your teeth when you were younger? If you need some help with your child’s dental care, here are some tips for children of all ages.

Newborns and Infants

The sign of a first tooth can be exciting to lots of parents. Once you see this, you can feel secure knowing that, so far, your children’s teeth are coming in healthily. Regardless of how few or how new the teeth are, it is imperative to take proper care of your newborn's oral health. Here are some tips for taking care of your newborn infant's teeth and gums:

  • Care for your babies' gums, even before teeth come in by gently wiping them clean twice a day with a soft, warm, moistened cloth. 
  • Once the first few teeth start to come in, you can graduate to a small, soft head toothbrush. We recommend avoiding toothpaste until a few teeth are in, so start with some warm water.
  • The first time you use toothpaste, use a small, rice-sized amount of toothpaste. Over time, you can increase the amount of toothpaste up to the size of a pea by around the age of three.
  • Once your child can hold and maneuver the toothbrush independently, let them brush their own teeth.

The standard rule of thumb is that you and your baby should take your first trip to the dentist by the age of one, or when the first tooth starts to come in, whichever comes first.


Children and Adolescents

Once your child reaches the age of three, they should have all of their baby teeth in. From the ages of three until about six years old, these will be the only teeth they will have, up until they start to get replaced by their permanent adult teeth, most of which will come in by the age of 13.

During this time of their dental lives, it is important to survey your children's oral health and habits. The process of baby tooth replacement should be monitored for signs of misalignment and the possible need for braces in the future. The practices that they start when they are young are incredibly likely to be continued throughout adulthood. Here are some tips for you and your child to ensure you are taking good care of their mouth.

  • As your child becomes a teen, they will likely begin to be more self-conscious and care about their appearance. Use this to your advantage and stress the importance of dental hygiene and the aesthetics of their teeth.
  • In addition to their appearance, many teens also start to feel conscious of their scent. Remind your child about the benefits and confidence that comes with having fresh-scented breath.
  • If your teen is active in sports, encourage the use of a mouthguard. Mouthguards are scientifically proven to prevent tooth and head injuries.
  • The most common point in one's life to have braces are their teen years. With braces on, it becomes even more important to take good care of your teeth and protect the investment in a straight, healthy smile!



The biggest challenge in regards to dental care and teenagers is keeping them interested. When your teen is more interested in hanging out with friends, sleeping in, and spending time on their extracurricular activities, their oral health and habits can go by the wayside. However, new adult teeth and the possibility of braces can make dental care at this point in their lives even more important than ever. Try these tips with your teenager to help them take care of their oral health!

  • Start flossing once the first sign of teeth touching occurs. Starting flossing with your child early will help build up good flossing habits.
  • Be sure to complete your oral health routine with your child as they do theirs. This is an excellent opportunity to lead by example and ensure your kid is taking proper care.
  • Now is the time for you to visit the dentist every six months. This is because the process of adult teeth coming in is a substantial oral change that should be monitored by a dental professional who can spot small issues before they become major ones.
  • Monitor your child's diet. As they start to grow, they slowly become more and more in control of the foods that they eat. Certain foods and drinks, such as candy and soda, can promote bacterial growth and tooth decay.


Contact Us For Our Pediatric Dentistry Services!

At Marlborough Dental Centre, our pediatric dentists have decades of experience providing children with top-notch dental care.  Want to learn more about our children and family dental services or how we make dental work affordable for you? Call our team at 403-248-2066 or fill in our online contact form.


Q: At What Age Do Children Get All Of Their Permanent Teeth In?

Most children will have all of their permanent teeth by the age of 13. The only exception to this is the wisdom teeth that tend to come between the ages of 17 and 25.

Q: What Time of Day Should I Clean My Toddler's Gums?

It is recommended that you clean their gums immediately after eating and just before bedtime. This is to prevent the growth of bacteria and remove any bits of food that may have been left over from their most recent meal.

Q: Should I Be Thinking About My Child’s Wisdom Teeth?

Typically wisdom teeth do not become a problem until late teens or twenties. However, that does not mean that they do not exist before that age. Wisdom teeth tend to start growing below the gum line at around 10-12 years old. They will likely not erupt through the gum line until later in life. Once this happens, then it is time to start looking at options for managing their wisdom teeth.

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