Kids may not always enjoy brushing their teeth, but it’s an important part of personal hygiene and must be done at least twice daily, in the morning and at night, to prevent tooth decay. While kids are at high risk for tooth decay, the good news is they can tackle most decay-related issues with proper tooth-brushing and flossing. It’s not only important that kids brush their teeth, but also that they do it right.
Teach Proper Brushing Techniques
Sometimes kids are in such a hurry to get the tooth-brushing out of the way, they rush through the brushing and neglect to brush properly. Kids should brush using both an up and down motion and small, circular strokes along the gum line. Holding the toothbrush bristles at a 45-degree angle, kids should begin by cleaning the outer surfaces of the top teeth, doing two to three teeth at a time. Care should be taken to brush both the teeth and along the gum line. Then they should brush the outside surfaces of the bottom teeth. Then, have them brush the outside and inside of the bottom teeth in the same careful way. Next, they should brush the chewing surfaces of both top and bottom teeth. Finally, have your child brush their tongue so their breath is fresh.
Limit the Amount of Toothpaste
Toothpaste marketed toward kids comes in a variety of flavors, from fruit-flavored to bubble gum. With toothpaste that’s so tasty, kids may have an urge to squeeze out gobs of toothpaste each time they brush. This is not only wasteful, since most of that will probably fall in the sink and get rinsed away, but also unnecessary. Kids only need a pea-sized amount of toothpaste to brush all their teeth.
Set a Timer and make it fun!
While kids should spend as much as three minutes brushing their teeth, it’s more important that they brush them properly. Nonetheless, consider setting a timer for three minutes and tell kids that when the timer rings, they will be done. Kids may enjoy an hourglass timer with sand — they can actively watch the time pass in a trickle of sand rather than wait for the ding of a timer.
Floss Every Night
Flossing is sometimes a forgotten part of tooth care, but it’s very important. The food kids can see on the front of their teeth is also between teeth and without flossing, those particles will likely lead to decay and cavities.
Smile Canada creates a positive image for dentistry and serves as a gentle reminder to visit a dentist regularly. The website is also a beautifully done extension of the TV ads!