Did you know that taking proper care of your gums is equally important as taking care of your teeth?
While the health of your teeth is a significant component of achieving optimal oral health, it’s not the only area that needs attention. The health of your gums is equally important. Not properly caring for your gums will eventually lead to complications, like gingivitis.
Gingivitis is a moderate level of gum disease that causes inflammation, redness, and irritation of the gums. If left untreated, it can lead to more severe periodontitis or even tooth loss.
Luckily, parents can set their kids up for healthy gums by following several easy guidelines. Let’s examine these steps to follow:
4 Pediatric Tips for Healthy Gums
Yes, Flossing is Key
Since most parents have a hard enough time instilling proper brushing into their child’s routine, flossing often gets pushed off to the side. It is crucial to teach the importance of flossing to your children at an early age.
If your child is young, try to make flossing a fun game or even a family activity. You can also give your kids a sense of control by letting them choose to floss in the morning or night (since they only need to do it once a day). It is also a good idea to educate your kids on why we all need to floss, so they are more likely to appreciate the purpose behind it.
Brush Gently and at a 45-Degree Angle
Do you ever tell your kids it’s time to brush their teeth, only to find a blur of tiny toothbrushes vigorously brushing as quickly as possible? While they are “brushing” you’re going to want to make sure they are not using too much pressure. When kids bear down on their gums with a toothbrush, it can cause them to bleed and even start to recede. A good rule of thumb is to use a 45-degree angle and to brush in slow, circular motions.
Tell Your Kids About Tooth-Friendly Foods
Fruit, vegetables, cheese, lean meat, and nuts are what we like to call “Tooth-Friendly Foods.” Cookies, candy, and chips are okay occasionally but are not suitable for healthy gums. While we know it can be difficult to explain that to a young child, we have some fun tips for allowing them to make their own healthier choices:
- Include your child in purchasing items from the grocery list. Let them locate and bag the fruits and veggies themselves.
- Start a family garden. It’s a beautiful way to teach your kids how things grow while also encouraging family time.
- Food prepping snacks before they are hungry goes a long way to preventing meltdowns. We suggest filling a dozen cupcake tin trays each morning with parent-approved snacks. Then let kids graze throughout the day. You’ll be surprised at how quickly it goes!
- Try a family meal approach where you put all the items for dinner on the table. By allowing the kids to serve themselves, they’ll feel more in control of what they are eating.
Twice a Year Dental Check-Ups
If your child is brushing, flossing, and eating well, they are well on their way to maintaining a healthy, happy mouth. It is important to keep in mind that twice a year, pediatric dental cleanings are required to eliminate plaque build-up and to allow your dental provider with an opportunity to spot any possible areas of concern.
Contact Our Office
While we understand that children are not in love with the idea of having to brush and floss their teeth and gums every day, it does have a tremendously positive impact on their overall health. We can’t encourage you enough to stay consistent with continually improving your children’s dental-related habits as they learn and grow.
If you have any questions about your child’s gum health, give us a call. We’re here for you!