Teaching Kids about Oral Health
by Dr. Michael Popp on Nov 7, 2014

Helping kids understand the importance of oral hygiene at an early age is an investment in their long-term overall health. A good place to start is setting the right example; take good care of your own teeth and be enthusiastic about your own oral health. You can do small things like getting you kids excited about choosing a toothbrush or brush your teeth along with them.


There are a few simple things you can teach your children to do on a regular basis to help them avoid tooth, gum and cavity problems in the future. Making sure they visit the dentist on a regular basis for a good cleaning is essential. Also, teach your kids the importance of flossing daily to remove plaque and bacteria buildup between their teeth and under their gums. It’s a good idea to start flossing you child’s teeth around age 4, and by age 8 most children are able to floss on their own. Eating a healthy, well-balanced diet with limited sugary and starchy foods (these foods contribute to tooth decay) is also a good habit to instill in your children.


Have your kids use a pea-sized amount of toothpaste and brush twice a day. Make sure they don’t swallow the toothpaste! Soft bristle brushes are usually best for children to help protect their gums from aggressive brushing. Teach them how to brush all sides and surfaces of the teeth to help remove as much plaque as possible. And remember; don’t forget to brush the tongue!


There are lots of resources available to help teach children about the importance of teeth care in a fun, interactive way. The Canadian Dental Association provides a range of resources that are available for teachers and parents to download and use. Have a look at this link for more info.


The American Dental Association has created Mouth Healthy Kids, a site with videos, games and activities to educate youth about dental health. Check the site out here.


As always if you have any questions or concerns, please don’t hesitate to contact us at the Marlborough Dental Centre in NE Calgary.


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