How to Help Your Kids Create Good Oral Hygiene Habits Now

Feb Blog Image

February is National Children’s Dental Health Month, and we’re dedicated to raising awareness!

In America, 51 million hours of school is missed every year due to oral health issues. Although every month should be important when it comes to a child’s dental health, February is the one dedicated to it. Here are things to keep in mind when helping children become conscious of just how important dental hygiene is and exactly how to start creating good habits right away:

  1. Keep the sugar intake to a minimum
  2. Floss, floss, floss
  3. Brush twice a day
  4. When you brush, make sure you hit the 2 minute mark
  5. Visit your dentist regularly

Have you ever seen that amazing “magic trick” when you ask your child “Did you brush your teeth?”  And they respond with a “yes” only because their toothbrush is wet?  Then come to find out, there was no brushing going on, they merely stuck their toothbrush under the faucet and wiped their front teeth once, maybe twice. Now is the perfect time to kick this bad habit!  Dental health can be fun for kids (and adults)!

Here are 4 ways to incorporate some fun and giggles into children’s daily oral care:

Toothpaste – a plethora of choices

Let’s start off with toothpaste.  There are gels, pastes, and so many different flavors; such as cinnamon, vanilla, bubble gum, and variety of different mint flavors.  Let your child choose which one they would prefer.

Flossing – 40% of cleaning your teeth comes from flossing

Floss comes in different flavors as well and also had a variety of textures.  There are waxed, woven, and even the hand held pick form to name a few.

Toothbrush – the master tool

Choosing a toothbrush will probably be your child’s favorite thing to do.  Not only are there options as far as handheld or battery operated, there are TONS of different designs now!  Your child can pick their favorite cartoon character or stick to the basics-like their favorite color.

Brushing Timer – brush 2 min 2x a day

While the tiny sand timers you flip upside down are always fun for kids to watch, there are now toothbrushes with built in timers. The brush will alert timer markers with a beep or a vibration for 2 minute duration, some even play a popular song.

Giving Kids Something to Look Forward To

This is the perfect way to create a morning and nighttime routine to get your child excited about developing healthy habits.  Getting your child involved in the decision making of choosing some cool and fun dental products makes them more apt to look forward to brushing and flossing daily.

Starting off good oral hygiene practice at a young age will propel your kids into the future for a lifetime of healthy pink gums and bright shining smiles!  A healthy smile is a smile you can be proud of!

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Dr. Terry Hunt

River Dental Arts

1690 Wright Ave

Rocky River, OH 44116

Phone: (440) 331-7380



Did you know that almost half of the U.S. population aged 30 years and older have mild, moderate or severe periodontitis (gum disease)?  According to new research from the Featured imageJournal of Dental Research in collaboration with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) periodontitis is prominent.  Nearly two-thirds of adults over age 65 have moderate to severe forms of periodontal disease.

What is periodontal disease?  It is an inflammatory disease characterized by loss of connective tissue between the teeth and gums.  It is the number-one cause of tooth loss in adults as bacteria growth in the mouth can destroy the tissue that surrounds your teeth.  Gingivitis (gum inflammation) usually precedes gum disease.  Bacteria in the plaque build up and cause the gums to become inflamed and to bleed easily during tooth brushing.  In the early stages of gingivitis, the gums may be irritated, but the teeth are still firmly planted in their sockets.  If gingivitis is left untreated, it can advance to periodontal disease.  When this happens the inner layer of the gum and bone pull away from the teeth and form pockets.  These small spaces between the teeth and gums collect debris and can become infected.  Your body’s immune system fights the bacteria as the plaque spreads and grows beneath the gum line.  As the disease progresses, gum tissue and bone are destroyed.  When this happens the teeth become loose and tooth loss occurs.

Although plaque is the primary cause of gum disease, other contributors include: hormonal changes, illnesses, medications, tobacco use, poor oral hygiene habits and family history of dental disease. Pay attention to the warning signs of gum disease and ask us about any questions that you may have.  The symptoms of gum disease include:

  • Gums that bleed during or after tooth brushing
  • Red, swollen or tender gums
  • Persistent bad breath or bad taste in the mouth
  • Receding gums
  • Formation of deep pockets between the teeth and gums
  • Loose or shifting teeth
  • Changes in the way teeth fit together upon biting down or in the fit of partial dentures

Periodontal disease is a condition that can be successfully treated and managed.  Remember to brush, floss and rinse your teeth.  Never share your toothbrush and replace it regularly.  Oral bacteria can be passed to others, which can spread bacteria and potentially lead to periodontal disease.

Dr. Terry Hunt
River Dental Arts
1690 Wright Ave
Rocky River, OH 44116
Phone: (440) 331-7380