Children’s Oral Hygiene: Is Brushing, Flossing & Fluoride Enough?

children's oral hygiene

Cavities, also regarded as tooth decay or caries, are among the common chronic disease of childhood in the US. Untreated tooth decay may result in infections and pain, leading to other problems with learning, eating, playing, and speaking.

Children with poor oral health usually receive lower grades and miss more classes in school than kids who don’t. However, the good news is that tooth decay is preventable through flossing, brushing, and fluoride.

Flossing and Brushing

Dental hygiene must start when your kid is still a baby. Begin using a soft child-size toothbrush for kids at around one or two years old and brush their teeth with enough water twice or thrice a day.

You may add a small amount of toothbrush, which doesn’t have fluoride in it. Such type of toothpaste is safe for kids to swallow. Though when your kids are older enough to spit the paste out, you might switch to a toothpaste with fluoride.

In this stage, teach your kids to spread toothbrush among their gums, tongue, and teeth. This helps to reduce the amount of microbial life or bacteria in the mouth. If you are unsure, have your dentist or doctor show you the proper way of brushing your kids’ teeth.

Flossing is another important part of children’s dentistry and orthodontics. Teach your kids to floss at least once or twice a day. You may also get a floss, which comes with a handle to make it simple.


Kids start to require supplemental fluoride when they reach six months. If your kids are taking tap water, either mixed with baby formula, 100% fruit juice, or alone, it means they get enough amount of fluoride.

Fluoride is very safe for kids. It is basically a natural element, which strengthens and protects the teeth against cavities formation. Using it early helps to offer additional protection for growing teeth.

However, if your kids take unfluoridated bottled water or well water, you might want to speak to a dentist regarding fluoride supplements in the form of:

  • Lozenges
  • Chewing gums
  • Drops
  • tablets

Fluoride Varnish

Healthy teeth and gums are vital for the general health of your kids. This is the reason your kid’s doctor may speak with you about healthy dental habits, even before the first teeth of your children start to appear.

Immediately after your kids have the first tooth, your doctor will recommend that you take your children to get fluoride varnish treatments to prevent cavities. This should happen two or four times a year, and the number of treatments might depend on how likely your kids might get tooth decay.

Most pediatricians are trained to provide the care and after-care that Invisalign requires and have the professionalism to apply fluoride varnish since most young kids don’t have access to or see dentists until they get older.

So what is fluoride vanish? Is it safe?

Fluoride varnish refers to a dental treatment consisting of fluoride, a mineral that strengthens tooth enamel. However, it may not prevent cavities completely.

Fluoride varnish is safe, and doctors and dentists can help avoid tooth decay in kids.

Final Remarks!

As soon as the first tooth begins to emerge, it means it’s high time you start the ongoing education that can help to keep their teeth strong and healthy. It will never be too late to teach kids about the need for good oral hygiene to prevent dental problems.

Although dental problems, such as gum disease and cavities, are preventable, the key goal is to stick with healthy dental care habits.