The best way to help children develop a lifelong habit of taking care of their teeth and avoiding cavities, gum disease, and decay is by teaching them strong habits now. One of the biggest problems we see among our young patients is not a lack of brushing, but improper brushing technique. For this reason, we prepared this guide for proper brushing.
1.) Teach your children to brush in small circles: Children typically run into two problems when brushing–they brush too hard and don’t effectively break up plaque. Teach your children to gently draw circles along the surface of their teeth. Gentle circles break up plaque without harming the gums.
2.) Teach your children to be careful with their gums: The hard plastic and stiff bristles of a toothbrush can cut, bruise, and cause abrasions to the gums, leaving them puffy and red. Many children suffer pain from their gums for this reason and can even cause their gums to recede! In order to avoid the surgery and increased tooth sensitivity that receded gums cause, teach your children to treat their gums nicely.
3.) Consider using a timer: Children are usually done with brushing around 30 seconds in. Help them patiently perservere with a 2 minute timer.
4.) Find a soft-bristled brush: Cheap toothbrushes typically have stiffer bristles than are good for your children’s teeth and gums. A proper children’s toothbrush comes with soft enough bristles that gently clean without being overly abrasive.
Helping children brush correctly is a process and may even take several reminders. Teaching a proper brushing technique will benefit you and your children for their whole lives, and will prevent the many problems and expense associated with poor oral hygiene.
Call Dr. Johnson at 801-253-8866 to schedule your child’s next appointment! For a limited time now accepting new patients.