Teaching Your Child about Gum Massage

It's easy to prevent gum disease in children, and they have a better cleansing saliva than adults. The saliva is thinner and less acidic, which lessens plaque formation. Still, proper massage of the gums at an early age is important. You can help your children to find their gum line (where the teeth meet the gums). While children rarely get gum disease, they can become candidates for future gum disease if they do not massage their gums effectively. Massaging the gums will lead to healthy tissue.

Have your child look at your mouth, and show him or her where your gum line is. Then work with your child to show him how the massage of the gums feels. It's important for children to learn how much pressure to exert on the gum. This process should be followed after tooth brushing. An electric toothbrush might better enable your child to learn the rhythm of the brush style.

Follow these two steps as if playing "show and tell":

1. First work on your child with the manual toothbrush, on the teeth and gums. Do not forget the gums, even on a young child. Make little circles starting on the gums to bring circulation to the tissue.

2. Use an electric toothbrush to massage the gums. It is motivating to have the child use an electric brush, and brushing can be done in a fun and playful manner.

If you help your child in show and tell, he or she will understand the exact pressure needed to cleanse and massage their gums. Watch him do it the next time. Children will gain confidence if you show them correctly. Use a gentle massage action on the gums. If your child is using an electric brush, work gently around and on the gum tissue.

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