Helpful Pediatric Dentistry Tips!

Preventing Gum Disease and Damage – Keeping Your Children’s Gums Healthy

by Dr. Steve Whittemore, D.D.S. | Published March 30, 2018

You’ve established regular, healthy brushing habits for your children so their teeth remain healthy and strong, but what’s the next step? Aside from bringing in your child for regular dental appointments, something that is crucial in maintaining your child’s oral health is keeping an eye out for gum disease and gum recession. Brushing twice daily can help prevent gum disease, but we at Pediatric Dentistry have several other tips for making sure your child grows up to have gums just as healthy as their teeth.

Floss Your Teeth Together

Something that will help you prevent and monitor potential gum disease for your child is regular flossing. Regular flossing rids teeth of up to 40% of sticky bacteria or plaque. Plaque generates acid, which can cause cavities, irritate your kids’ gums and can lead to gum disease.

Make flossing once a day part of your child’s brushing routine and help them floss until they are old enough to learn to floss themselves. Children’s flossers come in many different colors and shapes and can make flossing a little more fun for kids who are resistant to it. Flossing will remove plaque build-up that can lead to gum diseases like gingivitis.

Prevent Gum Recession with a Soft Toothbrush

Choosing the right toothbrush for your child plays an important part in setting the foundation for good gum health. You want a brush that will help remove plaque from their teeth without damaging their gums; a brush that is too rough can lead to gum recession, which can cause problems and lead to oral surgeries when you children become adults. We recommend you use a brush with soft bristles and a rounded shape that is designed to remove plaque from teeth and the gumline alike.

Make Sure Your Child Isn’t Brushing Too Hard

Another habit that can cause gum recession is brushing too vigorously. If you notice your child’s toothbrush becomes flattened or the bristles get bent easily, you might want to help your child adjust their brushing habits to make sure they aren’t hurting their gums when they brush. A good, safe way to keep kids’ teeth clean without brushing too hard is by using a kid-friendly electric toothbrush with soft bristles. Ask our staff for electric toothbrush recommendations!

Know the Signs of Gum Disease

If you’re instilling all the right habits to keep your child’s gums healthy, the last thing you can do is to know when to call the professionals about potential gum disease. Keep an eye out for the following in your child’s gums:

  • Bleeding—A little bleeding is normal right after starting a new flossing habit, but if your child’s gums bleed every time they floss after a week of starting the new habit, it might be a good idea to contact us to make sure gum disease isn’t the cause.
  • Redness and swelling—If your child’s gums are an unusually bright red or look more swollen than usual, call your pediatric dentist.
  • Recession—If you notice your child’s gums getting pushed further back over time or if you see any exposed roots on the teeth, bring your child in to find out their gum recession level and what you can do to stop it.


By following these tips, you’ll help ensure your child has a good foundation for complete oral health, including both teeth and gums. If you’re ready to bring your child in for an appointment, contact our office and we’ll be happy to set up a time for you!

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