Dental Hygiene For Kids Q&A

Many parents have questions about their children’s dental hygiene and tooth brushing habits. It can be difficult to get kids to understand the benefits of good teeth-care but it’s very important to their long term dental hygiene so we’ve put together a comprehensive Q&A that will hopefully help answer some questions you might have or give you some handy tips that you can use.

How can I encourage my kids to brush their teeth?

  • Brush your teeth in front of them so they see it as being a normal daily routine
  • Make it fun by brushing to their favourite 2 minute song / tune
  • Look at a dental video or app to brush along too. There are plenty out there.
  • Let them pick their own toothbrush
  • Let them have a go at brushing your teeth
  • Try to pick a time that’s not hectic
  • Ask to have a final check when they are done and finish up if needed

How often should kids brush their teeth?

  • Kids (and adults) should brush their teeth twice a day, morning and night
  • They should make sure they brush every tooth, on top, bottom, back, front, chewing surfaces and all sides, making sure to brush where the teeth and gums meet in a soft circular motion
  • Even brush their tongue, this will help with bad breath

When should kids start flossing?

  • As soon as teeth are touching your kids should start flossing
  • When very young you can do this for them and as they get older they can learn the technique
  • The technique involves a string of floss about 30cm long, relax it into C shape and gently guide it between their teeth cleaning both side of each gap while slightly going under the gum line. Explain that a new section of the floss should be used when moving from tooth to tooth to reduce the spreading of germs
  • It does not matter when you floss just pick a time that can be part of their routine

What kind of toothpaste should my kids use?

  • When they are babies you can simply use a face washer to wipe their teeth and gums, no toothpaste required
  • Toothpaste with fluoride in it (for 3yrs and up) is recommended as it plays a part in strengthening tooth enamel
  • Toothpaste for kids under 12 is generally formulated so it’s not too harsh as it can be in adult toothpaste
  • Do not let them swallow toothpaste, get them to spit out any excess

What food and drinks can kids have at school that is healthy for their teeth?

  • Foods high in calcium such as cheese, milk and low sugar yoghurt will help strengthen their teeth and jawbone and fight against tooth decay
  • Crunchy foods such as carrot, apple, celery and pears will cause a child to chew more which produces more salvia to destroy and fight off bad bacteria in the mouth
  • Sugar free gum (maybe not during school hours)
  • Drink tap water
  • Avoid sugary sweets, soft drinks and sports drinks (even some fruits juices can be high in sugars)

Should my kids wear a mouthguard playing sport?

  • Sport is a big part in our kids lives but unfortunately accidents involving damage to teeth can occur.
  • Sports that you should get your kid a mouthguard for include basketball, boxing, hockey and soccer
  • Even recreational and leisure activities like skate boarding, cycling and scooter riding can be causes for dental injuries, so a mouthguard should be considered.
  • Mouth guards are designed to fit closely, comfortably and to provide shock absorption.
  • As kids continue to grow you may find a new mouth guard is needed each year or so. Mouth guards can be made for those wearing braces too.
  • Using a mouthguard, custom fitted by the dentist is great way to protect your teeth, lips and gums.
  • It’s worth noting if you use a dirty, damaged or ill-fitting mouthguard you could actually be damaging your teeth and gums.
  • The cost of a custom fitted mouth guard is far less than that of an injury to your teeth or jaws.

If you need any further information or have any additional questions, please contact your clinic and we’d be happy to help.

You can also check out our full range of child dental services here –