Teaching Children to Care for Their Gums
Have you gotten your children to brush their teeth regularly but are still worried about the health of their gums? Here are some tips to making gum care a part of their dental routine as well.
Relate the importance of oral health.
Remember: good dental care habits are for more than caring for your teeth; these habits contribute to a healthy tongue, gums, and overall mouth as well. When helping your children better care for their gums, make sure that they understand that it isn’t just about their teeth but rather about the mouth overall. If it helps, rather than saying “let’s take care of our teeth” before the dental care routine each evening, you could instead say “let’s take care of our mouths.”
Show them proper tooth brushing techniques.
A good pedodontist will help to show your child teeth brushing techniques when your child is at the dentist, but it is important to continue showing them these techniques at home so that they become habit in tooth brushing. A good brushing technique involves using a soft brush and holding it at a 45 degree angle to ensure that the gums are brushed, but not straight-on. Move the brush in tight, circular motions, ensuring that you “massage” your gums. And of course, this technique should be part of a typical two-minute brushing routine.
It might be tempting to skip flossing with your children if brushing alone is a struggle or if their teeth look relatively clear, but flossing is an important part of gum health. Not only does it work to remove food that might get lodged between your teeth and gums, but it also helps to get rid of plaque and bacterial film that forms between your teeth and gum line. Flossing is truly central, then, to helping prevent gum disease.
Do you have children who are worried about bleeding gums? Bleeding gums can be a sign of a more serious problem like periodontitis, but chances are your child’s gums simply need to be continually flossed on a daily basis and will soon no longer bleed during flossing after about a week.
Know what healthy gums look like.
So what do healthy gums look like, exactly? This is important to know so that you can impart it to your children, as well. Healthy gums are pink in color and should have a firm texture. They should be free of red and inflammation. Teach your children to examine their teeth by not only smiling but also by opening their mouths and moving their lips to see the gums underneath and above their teeth.