Home Blog Top Tips to Keep Your Child’s Teeth and Gums Healthy

Top Tips to Keep Your Child’s Teeth and Gums Healthy

February 28, 2023
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Do you know that poor oral health can affect your child’s performance at school? According to the CDC, this results in children missing more school days and potentially receiving lower grades. This apart, the child may be in discomfort or pain, go off their food, and lose sleep- all leading to more health issues.

Taking care of oral hygiene is a simple, effective way to avert all of this. While a visit to your pediatric dentist is still a periodic necessity to ensure all is well, your child is pain-free and healthy with a good oral hygiene routine in place.

Here is all you need to know to keep the little one’s teeth and gums in great shape:


Early oral hygiene

Newborns need oral care even before they start teething. Dampen a soft cloth and wipe down the baby’s gums gently after each feed. When the first teeth make an appearance, switch to a soft bristle toothbrush with a head that easily fits into the baby’s tiny mouth. You can use fluoride toothpaste but a very small amount, just a smear of a line on the bristles until they are three years old. Brush the teeth gently in circular motions cleaning out all surfaces without fail.

Supervision is essential

As the child grows older (say age two) and learns to brush and floss independently, supervision is still necessary. Make sure they do not swallow the paste. After age three, it is safe to increase the toothpaste to a pea-sized amount that cannot cause harm even if swallowed. But insist that the child must spit it and the water out after rinsing. Toothpaste can cause a tummy ache. If they have ingested some, give them something with calcium, like milk. Fluoride binds with calcium.

When the child has two teeth that touch, you should start flossing and also introduce them to it gradually. Until the age of eight, supervise the child’s brushing and flossing. Both these habits prevent the need for frequent cleanings and fillings lifelong.

Fluoride has its benefits

Fluoride strengthens the child’s teeth and also helps avert tooth decay. It is safe to use in the oral cavity, and swallowing tiny amounts of it is harmless. Your pediatric dentist may recommend suitable fluoride toothpaste for these reasons.

A pediatric dental visit is a must

The first visit to the pediatric dentist happens even before the baby turns one year old, right after the first tooth makes an appearance. After that, every six months is a good schedule to follow. Starting early familiarizes the child with the dentist. Also, it gives the pediatric dentist a chance to keep track of their patient’s records right from early on. Choose a dentist with plenty of experience with children because they know how to put young ones at ease.


Apart from these, keeping a close eye on what the child eats/ drinks would be best. Sugary, starchy foods invite tooth decay by coating teeth and gums and creating ideal environments for bacteria in the mouth. If the baby takes a bottle to bed, give only water and avoid all sugary stuff. Avoid sugar/honey-coated pacifiers. When in doubt, always consult your pediatric dentist and pediatrician.

Throughout the day, ensure the child has plenty of water and limited sugary eats and drinks. And, of course, make them rinse after meals. Brushing and flossing at wake up and bedtime is essential too. Take care of these and regularly visit the pediatric dentist to avoid emergency cleanings and fillings resulting from tooth decay.

Ready when you are

Lamine Diallo
Lamine Diallo
02:21 15 Jun 22
My family and I have been receiving care from Dr. Ashraf and his amazing team since we first moved to Waterloo in 2002. His assessment skills are spot on, he is gentle and is very skilled at working with anxious\nervous patients. My dental hygienist is Lin who is very knowledgeable, and passionate about her work. She is amazingly gentle yet very,very thorough when it comes to preventative dental care. She is didactic as well, taking the time to teach patients how to use certain equipment as well as addressing gingivitis in pro-active ways. We are in very capable hands.
Trisa Kapetaneas
Trisa Kapetaneas
18:12 01 Jun 22
I have been a patient here for over 2 years now and I've always enjoyed the experience. The staff are professional and have always made me feel comfortable. I recently had a cleaning done by Lynn for the first time and she was amazing! Will continue to visit for my checkups/cleanings.
Aamir Mirza
Aamir Mirza
14:54 03 May 22
Dr. Ashraf and his team is amazing. All work done under one umbrella for entire family. We all are very happy to be under the care for the last 20 plus years. Lin, dental hygienist is remarkable professional. She knows her job so well that I look forward to my cleaning every time I'm scheduled. Thank you Lin for your amazing work for my entire family!
Alena Delena
Alena Delena
14:50 02 May 22
My family loves Dr Ashraf. We've been through many dentists in many cities and he's by far our favourite one. He's always thorough and professional. His referrals are also of equal high caliber. I went to him for a root canal and a crown. I had many concerns and he addressed them all personally. He even went so far as to redo a root canal for me. Recommend.
Nicole Wood
Nicole Wood
15:31 28 Apr 22
I found Ashraf Dentistry a year ago and I absolutely love their dental clinic. Everyone is very kind and thorough. Lin is the best dental hygienist I've ever had! She takes the time to ensure I receive the care I need. Both dentists I've seen have also been very kind and wonderful at making me feel like my teeth are being taken care of. Highly recommend!
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