Big Apple Pediatric Dentistry

5 Oral Hygiene Habits for Kids
Reviewed by Dr. Henry Martinez, DMD

Good oral hygiene is very important, especially for kids. Taking care of their teeth and gums can help them have a healthy smile for their whole life. Not caring for their teeth can cause problems like tooth decay, gum disease, and bad breath.

Five Tips To Help Kids Develop Good Oral Hygiene Habits

1. Start Early

Start cleaning your baby’s mouth even before their first tooth appears. Use a soft, wet cloth to gently clean their gums after feeding. This will help your baby get used to a clean mouth feeling and make it easier for them to start brushing their teeth when they grow up.

2. Begin Brushing

Once your child’s first tooth comes in, start brushing it using a small, soft-bristled toothbrush and toothpaste specially designed for kids. Teach them to brush in small, gentle circles to clean every part of their teeth. Keep the process fun and interactive, and use rewards and praise to motivate them.

3. Floss Daily

Flossing should be a part of your child’s daily oral hygiene routine as soon as they have two teeth that touch. Teach them the proper technique – gently sliding the floss back and forth between their teeth without forcing it or causing pain. Parents can help their kids floss until they are coordinated enough to do it themselves.

4. Choose the Right Tools

Using the right oral care products can make a big difference in your child’s dental health. Look for toothbrushes, toothpaste, and floss made for kids. They often have fun designs and flavors that make them more appealing to children. Replace toothbrushes every three to four months, or when the bristles start to wear out.

5. Eat a Balanced Diet

A healthy diet is important for your child’s overall health, including their teeth and gums. Encourage them to eat plenty of fruits, vegetables, and whole grains, and limit sugary snacks and drinks. Drinking fluoridated water can also help keep their teeth strong and prevent decay.

Regular dental check-ups are another essential part of your child’s oral health. Make sure to schedule appointments with a pediatric dentist who specializes in caring for kids’ teeth and gums. They can help detect problems early, give advice on proper oral care techniques, and manage dental issues that may arise.

By instilling these five dental care habits in your children from an early age, you can help them enjoy a lifetime of healthy, beautiful smiles. Remember, if you practice good oral hygiene, your child will be more likely to follow in your footsteps. Together, you can ensure good oral health and bright smiles for the entire family!

Phoenix Pediatric Dentist

If you live in Phoenix or surrounding communities and are searching for a pediatric dentist near me, look no further than Big Apple Pediatric Dentistry. Dr. Henry Martinez and his team provide quality dental care to children aged 0 to 21. 

Whether your child needs a routine dental check-up or complex treatment for cavities or gum disease, our caring staff is here to help. We also offer sedation dentistry and special needs dental care for children with physical, mental, or emotional disabilities. Contact us today to find out how we can help your family have beautiful smiles!

Call (602) 935-7427 to schedule an appointment or complete the online booking form. We look forward to being your pediatric dentist in Phoenix!


What Kind of Toothpaste Is Safe for Babies?

The American Academy of Pediatrics suggests using toothpaste with fluoride. Fluoride can cause dental fluorosis if swallowed in large quantities, so make sure to use only a rice-sized amount until your child learns to spit.

When Should I Start Taking My Child to the Dentist?

The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that you take your child to the dentist as soon as their first tooth appears or by their first birthday. Regular check-ups are important for prevention and early detection of any potential problems.

What Kind of Floss Is Best for Kids?

Look for dental floss specially made for kids. The waxed variety is usually gentler on the gums and easier to use. Flossers and soft dental picks can also be helpful for children who have difficulty using traditional floss.

Is It Safe for Kids To Use Mouthwash?

Children under six years of age should not use mouthwash. Your child should only use mouthwash if they are able to spit. Ingesting mouthwash can lead to nausea and vomiting.

Do You Have Any Tips for Brushing My Toddler’s Teeth?

Make the process fun and entertaining for your toddler by using a timer, rewards, or having them brush their favorite stuffed animal’s teeth. Start with one section of their mouth at a time and move on to the next once they are finished. Praise them when they do a good job!