The Importance of the Right Technique When Children Brush Their Teeth
There’s a refreshing piece of good news for parents in the UK: according to official government statistics, the number of five-year-olds with tooth decay dropped to an all-time low in almost 10 years! However, don’t start celebrating just yet – around 25% of these children do suffer from tooth decay, and as Dr Sandra White, Director of Public Health at Public Health England, notes, “one child with tooth decay is one too many and there is still much inequality in dental health around the country”. Cavities are painful and extraction can result in big problems, including the need for implantation and bone augmentation in some cases, in adulthood. To avoid these painful and pricey consequences, make sure your child uses the right technique when cleaning teeth and gums.
How Right is Your Angle?
Teach your child how to position their toothbrush at a 45º angle. Make sure they start brushing where the teeth meet the gums – children tend to brush only the lower part of teeth, brushing quickly and barely touching the gums. Teach them to use back and forth strokes and make sure they pay attention to all sides of the teeth. They should also begin to floss daily from the age of two to six. Children should clean their teeth twice a day. To up the ‘fun factor’, you might like to use one of many songs available on YouTube, specifically created to help kids learn how to brush properly. You might also like to get a little creative, creating your own little song and dance routine for brushing time.
Apps are where it’s at as far as arresting children’s attention so in this case, give into the temptation and consider using one. A study published in the Journal of Indian Society of Periodontology has shown that electronic toothbrushes are more effective than manual ones. The good news is that many of these toothbrushes come with special apps – one favourite is the Philips Sonicare for kids, which comes with a cute app featuring a furry purple creature who guides your child through the entire brushing routine. At the outset, observe how your child is using the app by brushing your teeth together. Make sure to spend time on each tooth – the app will tell you when to move on to the next tooth.
Disclose the Truth
The ultimate litmus test that will reveal whether your child is brushing correctly or not, are disclosing tablets. Your child should chew these tablets for half a minute then spit them out – the tablets, which are red, will leave a red colour anywhere where there is plaque – this way, it is easier to discover the areas that need more attention.
Teaching your children to brush their teeth properly is easier than ever thanks to handy help from apps and online resources. Technique is everything when it comes to successful cleaning, so take your time and ensure your children feel confident about their smile for the rest of their lives.