Handy Home Remedies for Gingivitis in Kids

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When you hear about gingivitis, you may imagine a dental condition that only impacts adults. But gingivitis in kids is more common than you might think. Thankfully, when kids visit the dentist regularly, you can catch gum disease early on and implement a treatment plan to reverse it. There are also home remedies that parents can try to help heal their kids’ gingivitis, thus keeping kids’ mouths clean, healthy, and happy.

What is gingivitis?

Gingivitis is the simplest form of gum disease and occurs when plaque buildup creates toxins and causes inflammation of surrounding gum tissue. Gums can become red and puffy, causing them to bleed easily. Plaque buildup can lead to issues beyond gingivitis, such as weakened tooth enamel and cavities. And even if your child brushes their teeth regularly, it can be easy for them to miss the gumline. So the next time your child brushes their teeth, show them how to brush their gums.

Symptoms of Gingivitis in Kids

Because gingivitis in kids is relatively common, some symptoms may be hard to recognize. Typical symptoms of gingivitis in kids include:

  • Gums that bleed when your child brushes or flosses
  • Gum tenderness that doesn’t go away
  • Red, puffy gums
  • Halitosis (bad breath) that doesn’t go away with regular toothbrushing and mouthwash use
  • Sensitivity to hot or cold foods and beverages
  • Small gaps or pockets between the teeth and gums
  • Loose teeth, leading to abnormal spacing

Good oral care habits are critical for treating gum disease in kids.

Though gingivitis in kids is quite common, there are things that you can do to reduce your child’s chance of getting it. And those good oral care habits can help cure your kid’s gingivitis if they have it already. Be sure to have your child practice the following habits at home. These are a great way to prevent gingivitis recurrence and are suitable for anyone in the family.

  • Teach your child how to brush their teeth properly. They should brush twice a day using a soft-bristled toothbrush for two minutes at a time. That’s equivalent to singing the alphabet six times.
  • Have your child brush with a fluoride toothpaste. Your pediatric dentist can recommend the best toothpaste for your child’s needs.
  • Your child should floss between all of their teeth at least once per day. They should use about 18 inches of dental floss, held taut between their thumbs and index fingers. They should then place the dental floss in between two of their teeth, gently gliding the floss up and down, rubbing it against both sides of each tooth. Most kids can floss for themselves by about 10years old. Until then, parents need to assist.
  • You may let your child rinse daily with an ADA-approved mouthwash. Check with your child’s pediatric dentist on the right type of mouthwash for your child.
  • Take your child to their pediatric dentist twice a year for preventive dental cleanings and oral evaluations.

Home Remedies To Help Treat Gingivitis in Kids

In addition to following good oral care habits, some home remedies can help cure gingivitis in kids. One of the best home remedies is a saltwater rinse. We recommend mixing a half teaspoon of salt in a glass of lukewarm tap water. Make sure your child understands that they are to rinse their mouth with the water (and gargle if they are able). They should never attempt to swallow the solution. Have them swish the solution for 15 to 30 seconds and then spit it out. Repeat this process two to three times per week.

Eating a smile-healthy diet rich in vitamins and minerals can also help prevent gingivitis and other oral conditions.

When To See a Pediatric Dentist About Your Kid’s Gingivitis

Remember, when gingivitis is detected in its early stages, it can be reversed. Thus, if you are seeing any of the symptoms mentioned in this article, it’s a good idea to request an appointment with your Omaha, Nebraska, pediatric dentist or with one of our satellite offices throughout the Greater Nebraska area.