Now that children have headed back-to-school to begin new lessons in math, science and geography to name a few, renowned Dentist Dr. Daniel C. Smith of Focus Dentistry thought it would be the perfect time to give parents a quick lesson as well - on how to properly teach children to brush their teeth!
"It is absolutely amazing how many parents and children have no idea how to brush their teeth," says Dr. Smith "I am always surprised by this huge number--as many as 75 percent--because improper brushing can result in as much damage to your teeth and gums as not brushing at all."
In order to ensure your kids are properly brushing their teeth and preventing unnecessary cavities and gum disease, Dr. Smith urges you teach your kids the following:
- The most important time to brush is before going to sleep because the body does not produce enough saliva to fight against sugars in the mouth says Dr. Smith. All bodily functions slow down while sleeping, therefore, bacteria grows rapidly, causing cavities and infection
- There are many types of toothbrushes on the market today, including electric, ultrasonic, ionic and the "normal/standard" toothbrushes, but Dr. Smith thinks that mechanical options show better results than standard ones. Regardless, Dr. Smith believes that a toothbrush should be soft bristled, regardless of size or shape
- Dr. Smith recommends anti-plaque, high fluoride toothpaste containing little or no abrasives. Abrasives wear out the enamel in teeth, which may look sparkly white but may be unhealthy. As far as gel or paste toothpaste, that is your child’s personal preference
- According to Dr. Smith, flossing should be done daily. Unfortunately, most people floss three or four times weekly. Flossing at night is very important to reach food particles that have remained in the mouth after eating all day
- Finally, even if your children are following a proper routine, still be sure to schedule your child regular visits to the dentist for cleanings and oral exams. A check-up every six months is recommended by Dr. Smith in order prevent cavities and other dental problems. However, your dentist can tell you when and how often your child should visit based on their personal oral health.