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Gum Health Is Important for Children
At Smile Wonders, we want your children to be successful in their oral and gum health care, so we’ll be glad to teach you—and them—the proper way to care for their oral health. Beginning at age one, we’ll start working on healthy dental habits that will last your children a lifetime.
How young should gum health begin?
You should begin caring for your children’s oral health as soon as their first tooth appears—about 6 months of age. At around six years old, your child should be able to brush their teeth on their own. The best way to teach is to demonstrate on yourself the proper brushing methods. Then have your child practice while you are watching. Around two minutes is the recommended length of time to brush.
Insert fun into the brushing routine with a kid-friendly electric toothbrush and a flavored toothpaste. Electric toothbrushes have been shown to remove up to 21% more plaque than manual brushing and can help mitigate the instinct to scrub. They can also come with a built-in timer that turns the toothbrush off automatically after the two-minute optimal brushing time.
Good Gum Health Practices Can Help Prevent Gum Diseases
Almost half of all adults in the United States have periodontal, or gum, disease, a condition that if allowed to progress, can result in tooth loss. Even when gum disease is in its early stages it can cause problems like discomfort and pain, bad breath, or bleeding gums.
There are a number of causes for gum disease. Dental plaque is one of them. Plaque is a sticky film that forms on your teeth’s surface. It starts as a clear film, then becomes visible within 12 hours. If not removed, it can harden and become tartar both on the teeth and under the gumline.
The best plan of action is to teach your children about proper gum care and gum health. Children (and adults) should brush their teeth twice a day (morning and evening) with a soft-bristled toothbrush, and floss once a day. Twice yearly, they need to visit their pediatric dentist for a professional cleaning and examination.
Children should be taught not to “scrub” their teeth or gums. Overzealous brushing can irritate the gums, causing them to become inflamed and damaged, or even wear away the gums, thus exposing the roots and allowing harmful bacteria and gum disease to take hold. Receding gums do not grow back, so it is important to start good habits now.
Signs of gum disease can include:
- Swollen or red gums
- Bleeding gums when you brush or floss
- Gum tenderness
- Receding gums along the gumline
- Pus in the gums
- Loose tooth or teeth
Be sure to schedule your child’s dental visit with a local pediatric dentist. We at Smile Wonders do our very best to make sure your child has the most positive dental experience possible!
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