Welcome, Dr. Lauren Heisinger to the Where Smiles Grow Family. Click here to read more!

Specializing in dentistry for infants, children & adolescents.

Creating a Dental Care Routine for Your Child

Just like teaching your children to tie their shoelaces or ride a bike, instilling proper dental hygiene practices from a young age is essential. Good oral health ensures their beautiful smiles remain strong and healthy as dental health plays a pivotal role in overall well-being, impacting eating habits, sleeping patterns, concentration, and self-esteem.

Issues like cavities and gum disease can be avoided with daily rituals like brushing twice and flossing regularly, while neglecting oral hygiene can lead to discomfort, pain, and serious problems down the line. Remember, long-term habits are often formed in childhood, so make sure your little ones get the best start.

When Should My Child Start Brushing Their Teeth?

There’s a lot of debate around the best time to introduce a toothbrush to your children, but at WSG, we believe the rule of thumb should be as soon as that first tooth pops up! Yes, you heard it right! That lone little pearly white sprouting in your baby’s gummy grin is your cue to begin the journey of dental hygiene. Even one tooth can be a playground for germs and plaque, so better to nip it in the bud.

Now, you may wonder how you’re supposed to brush one tiny tooth. Well, the good news is you don’t need a traditional toothbrush just yet. Start off with a gentle, soft-bristled baby toothbrush or a clean, damp cloth to clean their tooth and gums.

Choosing the Right Toothbrush for Your Little One

Picking a toothbrush can feel like a daunting task with so many options available on the market. The golden rule is to look for a toothbrush that’s specially designed for your child’s age. Most brands clearly label their products with an appropriate age range, making your hunt easier. The size and shape of the brush should be such that it fits comfortably in your child’s mouth and reaches all areas, whilst being easy for them to handle.

Another key factor is the bristle strength. For the tender gums of kids, soft bristles are always recommended. They are effective in removing plaque build-up and food particles while being gentle on the gums. Look for ones with rounded bristles as these ensure a softer touch. If you’re wondering about electric toothbrushes, many children find them fun to use and they could indeed be a good motivator for regular brushing. Just ensure it’s a suitable size and gentle enough for your child’s mouth. Don’t forget, even the flashiest toothbrush needs replacing every three months, or sooner if the bristles are worn out.

Selecting the Best Child-Friendly Toothpaste

When it comes to choosing toothpaste, remember that it’s not just about getting the shiniest box with their favorite cartoon character on it. It’s a decision that can have a lasting impact on your child’s dental health. All those slogans and flashy packaging can be overwhelming, but by focusing on ingredients and appropriateness for their age, you can ensure that your child’s teeth remain strong and healthy.

First up, consider the fluoride content as fluoride strengthens the teeth enamel, making it resistant to decay. Toothpastes with fluoride are generally recommended for children who are old enough to spit it out, usually those who are over the age of two. However, if your child is under the age of two, or has trouble spitting out toothpaste, choose a fluoride-free option. If you’re in doubt or need a bit more guidance, don’t hesitate to give us a shout. We’d love to help make sure your child’s smile remains bright!

Teaching Your Child the Correct Way to Brush Teeth

Brushing teeth might seem like a not-so-challenging job but when it comes to teaching this essential life skill to your little ones, it can be quite an adventure. It’s not just about scrubbing their teeth. Every aspect from the way they brush, to the kind of strokes they use and even how long they keep at it, counts. To ensure they are doing it right, every parent needs a little bit of guidance and a whole lot of patience.

Let’s start with the basics. It’s all about holding the toothbrush at a 45-degree angle against the gums and gently moving it back and forth in short strokes. Now repeat this process on the inner, outer and chewing surface of each tooth. Don’t forget, brushing your gums is equally important, so make that a part of their routine too. Also, remember that a two-minute timer can work wonders. It gives kids a clear sense that it’s not over until the little digital bell dings. At Where Smiles Grow, we truly believe a well-rounded brushing routine can set the foundation for lifelong dental health.

Incorporating Flossing into Your Kid’s Dental Hygiene Practice

Many parents wonder about the right age for kids to start this crucial oral hygiene practice, and the answer is simple, once you see two of their teeth touch, it’s time to buy a pack of kid-friendly floss!

Start by showing them how it’s done. Take a 15-18 inches long piece of floss, wrap it around your fingers, and gently glide it between your teeth. Show them how to correctly move it up-and-down and back-and-forth to remove any food particles and plaque. Remember, the goal here at Where Smiles Grow is to make dental hygiene fun and easy for our little ones.

Rinsing with Mouthwash: Should Your Child Be Doing It?

When your child is brushing and flossing regularly, you might be wondering if it’s time to introduce mouthwash into their routine as well. Well, depending on their age, it might make a rewarding addition to their dental care. Mouthwash can help give your child’s dental health that extra boost it needs, reaching areas of the mouth that brushing and flossing might miss. It is crucial to note, however, that the American Dental Association (ADA) recommends mouthwash for children aged six and above. Just like any tools used for health and wellness, appropriateness and timing matter a great deal.

Healthy Eating Habits that Promote Good Dental Health

You know what they say, you are what you eat! This wisdom holds true for your teeth just as much as it does for the body, and eating the right foods can bolster dental health leaps and bounds.


Promoting healthy eating habits in your children is essential for maintaining good dental health. Encouraging a balanced diet rich in fruits, vegetables, lean proteins, and whole grains provides essential nutrients like calcium, vitamin D, and phosphorus, which are crucial for strong teeth and bones. Limiting sugary snacks and beverages, such as candy, soda, and fruit juices, can help prevent tooth decay and cavities. Additionally, incorporating crunchy fruits and vegetables like apples and carrots into snacks can stimulate saliva production, which naturally cleanses the teeth and reduces the risk of plaque buildup. Healthy eating habits ensure healthy teeth!


Learn More About Our Where Smiles Grow Team

Knowing why good dental hygiene matters for kids is crucial. By making brushing, flossing, and regular dental check-ups a habit, parents help their children keep their teeth and gums healthy. Teaching kids about oral hygiene in a fun way makes it easier for them to understand and stick to good habits. With proper care and prevention, parents can ensure their children have healthy smiles for years to come.