Between helping with homework, getting kids to and from activities, and keeping them healthy, parents have a lot to do each day. Teaching your children how to care for their teeth is one of many responsibilities, and sometimes it can be put on the back burner.
But helping your child learn how to care for their teeth doesn’t have to be overly time-consuming, nor does it need to be expensive. After all, taking steps to help your child care for their teeth will pay dividends down the road. If you’re a parent and want to know the best dental products for kids, read on for the advice you need to keep your child’s mouth healthy and happy.
The best dental products for kids won’t matter if they aren’t used effectively.
Before we share our recommendations on dental products for kids, let’s cover some oral hygiene basics. After all, to be effective in using the products we recommend, it is critical to your child’s health that they know what to do. Teaching your child how to care for their teeth can be fun too.
Brush your teeth twice a day for two minutes at a time, using a soft-bristled toothbrush. Use your mobile device to find a two-minute, kid-friendly toothbrushing song for younger kids who are easily bored or need help knowing when two minutes is up. These songs make toothbrushing educational and fun, but more importantly, they help get the job done and are a great way to make toothbrushing a routine for your child.
Floss your teeth at least once per day, especially after meals. This means that whenever possible, your child should floss after breakfast, lunch, and dinner. But we know that this can be hard to maintain. So in the least, have your child floss their teeth before bed, after they brush their teeth.
Rinse with an age-appropriate mouthwash. The best time to do this is after dinner, after that last toothbrushing of the day, and right after your child flosses between their teeth and gums. Rinsing with mouthwash helps rid the mouth of food particles that were just loosened during the flossing process.
4. Tooth Nutrients
Stick to tooth-friendly foods as much as possible. While we encourage families to enjoy various foods in moderation, some foods are better than others. Foods like milk, cheese, yogurt, leafy greens, apples, nuts, meats and fatty fish, crunchy veggies like celery and carrots, plus water, are the best tooth-friendly food choices for strong, healthy teeth.
Now that you know the important steps for your child to take care of their mouth, let’s dive into those dental products for kids.
Dental Products for Your Kids
In order to effectively take care of their teeth, your kids will need these items. Here is what you need to know when shopping in the dental aisle at your local store.
Let’s start with the toothbrush, the single most important dental tool for oral hygiene at home. Once a child is eight, they can usually brush their teeth without parental supervision. For kids of this age or older, look for a toothbrush that is almost the same size as an adult toothbrush, but with a larger handle and smaller head. Pay attention to the recommended age on the toothbrush packaging for kids younger than that. No matter what toothbrush you select, however, stick to a soft-bristled one.
2. Tooth floss
After the toothbrush comes the tooth floss. It would be best if you started gently flossing between your child’s teeth once they have two teeth that touch. You can use an 18” strand from your floss reel for kids at this young age. But when your child is a bit older, late toddler age, you can have them start to floss their own.
There are fun flavored flosses out there to choose from! Another great option is GumChucks, which are sold at many stores across the country. These can be a fun challenge for kids learning to take care of their teeth.
After your child’s teeth are flossed at night before bed, rinsing with a mouthwash will help loosen food particles that are still sitting in the mouth. The American Dental Association (ADA) suggests that kids can start using mouthwash around age six, once they have the ability to spit liquids out without swallowing. Once your child is old enough to do this, be on the lookout for a kid-friendly mouthwash.
Avoid having your child use an adult mouthwash, as it has ingredients that their bodies aren’t ready for, and the taste will likely be too strong for them to handle. Reputable brands such as Listerine, Act, and Colgate offer a variety of kid-friendly flavors. Bring your child along when you shop in the dental aisle and let them pick a flavor that interests them most.
4. Breath mints
If your child has bad breath (halitosis), it is usually due to poor oral hygiene at home, gum disease, or tooth decay (cavities). Bad breath is also common in kids who eat smelly foods, breathe through their mouth, or have ear, nose, throat, or mouth infections.
If your child has bad breath and you can’t seem to discover the root cause (i.e., smelly foods), a trip to the dentist is in order. But meanwhile, breath mints can help freshen the breath. This said, kids generally shouldn’t be given the same breath mints as an adult. And Tic-Tacs and minty chewing gum are laden with sugar. Be on the lookout for Zollipops and Zaffy Taffy, which serve as dentist-approved sweet treats that also double as breath fresheners.
Similar to regular flossing, water flossing removes food particles that have become lodged between the teeth and gums. A water flosser, though a bit more expensive than other dental products for kids, is easy to use and can help remove those food particles before they turn into bacteria and harden into plaque.
Talk to your dentist in Middletown, Ohio about the best dental products for kids.
If you’re trying to teach your child how to establish a good oral care routine, or you have questions about the best dental products for kids, a great place to start is with your dentist. And it just so happens that Dr. Steven A. Lang, your dentist in Middletown, Ohio, can offer you some suggestions that you and your kids will love. Request an appointment today for your child’s next dental cleaning and oral examination.
Don’t have dental insurance? No problem. We accept cash, personal checks, and most major credit cards, and we also offer financing options through CareCredit. We make it easy to afford your child’s dental care and we look forward to working with you to set your child on the path to good oral health.