Top 10 Tips for Keeping Kids’ Teeth Healthy Year-Round

dental health for children

Maintaining excellent oral health for the entire family is not just about bright smiles. It’s also a crucial aspect of overall wellness! At your dental practice, you’re probably strategizing ways to support families with dental health for children.

That’s why we created this handy list of oral hygiene tips, for you to share with your patients easily! Let’s dive in.

1. Establish a Consistent Dental Routine

For optimal oral health, consistency is key. Encourage your patients to create a schedule that ensures every family member is brushing and flossing daily, and follow up with regular dental check-ups and cleanings. Here’s how to establish a rock-solid routine:

Regular Brushing and Flossing:

  • Set a time each morning and evening for family members to brush and floss.
  • Utilize technology with toothbrushes with a timer or that plays music, for the duration of brushing.

Routine Dental Visits:

  • Encourage your patients to schedule dental visits every six months to keep track of their family’s oral health.
  • Coordinate appointments for the whole family on the same day to simplify the process.

2. Choose Oral Health-Friendly Foods

The food we eat plays a significant role in our oral health. Make informed choices about snacks and meals to support strong teeth and gums. Be careful how you frame this, though! Make sure your research is rigorous, and remember to communicate to your patients that you’re talking specifically about oral health. There will be a lot of medical professionals in these patients’ lives who are trying to encourage “healthy eating” in ways that are beginning to be challenged in the medical field.

However, the foods we eat do affect oral health, so here are some tips to encourage to support dental health for children: 

Foods That Promote Dental Health:

  • Incorporate high-fiber fruits and vegetables that naturally clean teeth.
  • Include calcium-rich foods like cheese and yogurt to strengthen tooth enamel.

Foods to Avoid:

  • Limit sugary treats and snacks that can cause tooth decay.
  • Be mindful of hard and sticky foods that can damage teeth.

3. Encourage Proper Brushing Techniques

Teaching the correct brushing technique is vital, especially for children. Equip your family with the skills to maintain their dental health every time they brush.

Effective Brushing for Kids:

  • Encourage a circular motion to clean every tooth surface.
  • Teach children to hold their brush at a 45-degree angle to their gums.

The Fluoride Factor:

4. Make Flossing Fun

Flossing is often the underdog of oral hygiene! However, it’s just as important as brushing. Discover how to turn flossing into a family favorite activity.

Creative Flossing Techniques:

  • Utilize floss sticks with fun colors and designs for kids.
  • Reward children for consistent flossing with a sticker chart or small incentives.

The Importance of Interdental Cleaning:

  • Explain the significance of flossing to your little ones by likening it to cleaning between tiny “house” teeth to keep them strong and decay-free.

5. Lead by Example

Children learn best when they see their parents and caregivers modelling positive behaviors. In the realm of oral health, leading by example is invaluable.

Family Oral Hygiene Demonstrations:

  • Make brushing and flossing a communal event for the family.
  • Share positive outcomes from regular dental visits and at-home oral hygiene practices.

Parents and Guardians, Your Smile Matters Too:

  • Remind patients to be mindful of the habits they exhibit in front of their children.
  • Encourage them to discuss the importance of oral health with their children, emphasizing it is a lifelong commitment.

6. Protect Teeth During Sports and Activities

If your patients have an active family lifestyle, remind them to ensure that they’re safeguarding their kids’ smiles with protective gear during sports or activities that could pose a risk to their teeth.

Importance of Mouthguards:

  • Explain the value of mouth protection during sports to prevent injuries.
  • Highlight the various options, from custom to off-the-shelf mouthguards, suitable for different sports and ages.

Family Sports Safety Conversation:

  • Have an open dialogue about the potential for dental injuries in each family member’s activity and appropriate preventive measures.

7. Stay Hydrated with Water

The forgotten hero, water is extremely beneficial for oral health. Encourage a preference for water over sugary and acidic beverages.

The Dental Benefits of Water:

  • Remind the family that water is a natural cleanser for the mouth.
  • Educate on the cavity-fighting powers of fluoridated tap water.

Hydration Habits at Home:

  • Remind patients to offer water with meals and encourage regular sips throughout the day.
  • A way to make this fun is for the parents/guardians to provide personalized water bottles for each family member to carry during the day.

8. Address Dental Anxiety

Anxiety about the dentist is common, especially in children. Provide resources to help families tackle these fears, to ensure every family member feels comfortable and confident about their dental care.

Easing Children’s Dental Fears:

  • Suggest appropriate books about visiting the dentist.
  • Encourage families to visit the dental office beforehand to meet the staff and see the environment.

Be the Right Dental Practice:

  • Create a friendly, welcoming atmosphere for kids and adults alike.
  • If the parents or guardians have any, encourage them to share personal experiences to ease fears and build trust in the dental process.

9. Stay Informed About Oral Health

Education is empowerment. Regularly update your patient families on common dental issues and the latest preventive measures.

The Power of Communication:

  • Leverage any educational materials you have and send them in a way that your patients will use, for example, by text or email

Family Dental Literacy:

  • When you have the family at the practice, 

10. Celebrate Dental Milestones

Every smile-related achievement should be celebrated as a step towards a lifetime of good oral health care. Recognize and rejoice in every dental milestone reached when your young patients are in the office – and encourage their parents/guardians to do the same!

Losing Baby Teeth:

  • Make it an exciting event, such as a visit from the tooth fairy
  • Explain that it’s a sign they’re growing and their adult teeth are coming in strong.

Getting Braces or Other Orthodontic Treatment:

  • Acknowledge the courage it takes to start this important healthcare phase.
  • Maintain enthusiasm about the future benefits of a healthy, straight smile.


By implementing these 10 oral hygiene tips into their daily routines, you’re not just encouraging oral health for your patients: you’re helping to foster valuable habits and traditions that will last a lifetime. Help your patients start their journey towards happy smiles and robust oral health with these comprehensive tips. Happy brushing and flossing!

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