Kids should be taught to follow proper oral hygiene habits as soon as they turn two. Insufficient cleaning leads to the formation of plaque, and ignoring the same ultimately leads to gingivitis. Parents must ensure that children brush their teeth long enough as it is crucial for getting rid of the bacteria, as well as the food particles. But how long can it be good enough?
A minimum of two to three minutes
Children find brushing annoying, and they have some tricks of their own to avoid the oral hygiene routine. Kids try hiding toothbrushes, toothpaste, or even try bargaining as well as crying to avoid the task. Some notorious ones also claim they have brushed even without doing so.
Several studies have pointed out that kids love cleaning their room with parents, packing their backpacks for school, and getting dressed for the morning. However, when it comes to dental routine, most of them spend less than two minutes, that too on scrubbing the surface of the teeth.
Surprisingly, research suggests that besides kids, even some adults spend lesser than two minutes on brushing their teeth.
Brushing once during the day and again before going to bed is the general rule for everyone. It is advisable to at least spend three minutes on brushing. Put simply, one and a half minutes on both jaws can be good enough to ensure all the surfaces get cleaned daily.
Proper brushing must involve brushing the inside, outside (front and back) of the teeth. Even the tongue needs to be cleaned with a tongue cleaner placed on the flip side of most of the toothbrushes.
Electronic toothbrushes have a built-in timer for ensuring that the user spends the recommended time on brushing. For others, the good old stop-watch in the smartphone can prove to be helpful. Parents supervising their child’s dental routine can be a good idea.
How to motivate kids to follow proper oral hygiene habits?
After waking up in the morning, the first thing that a child should think about is brushing teeth. Setting up a daily routine is essential. Failing to clean for the minimum recommended time can lead to serious dental problems for the child in his or her later life.
There are several ideas that parents can use for ensuring their kid spends the right amount of time on brushing teeth.
Children often mimic their parents; thus, brushing teeth together can be the best motivation.
For toddlers, playing their favorite songs while brushing their teeth can keep them occupied. It may not be easy for every parent to supervise older children, but visiting the bathroom while they are brushing can help. Explaining the benefits of cleaning different parts of the teeth remains crucial.
When it comes to teens, most of them won’t appreciate interference as they prefer a little bit of independence. Offering them an electric toothbrush with a timer for brushing can be the best possible solution.
Baby’s gums and teeth need care from the day they appear. Cleaning the area with a piece of cloth is the most recommended option for baby’s gums. For a three year old, a small amount of fluoride toothpaste and a soft-bristled toothbrush can do the trick.
Applying too much pressure is not a good idea
When it comes to kids, the brushing technique is as important as the timing. Always make sure kids brush using short strokes. Cleaning in gentle circles on the outer side of teeth can be the best option. When it comes to the chewing surface, brushing back and forward can help in getting rid of all the food particles.
Applying too much pressure even with a soft toothbrush can damage the gum tissue and result in the abrasion of the enamel. It can also increase tooth sensitivity. Thus, teaching kids to brush gently is crucial.
Children need dental treatment and care as much as adults
One of the most spread misconceptions about baby teeth is that they do not need dental care. Several parents often prefer to neglect tooth decay in a child. Several pediatric dentists have observed that parents take their kids to the dental office only when the child finds it difficult to eat. Such kids start crying due to pain constantly. The fact is that kids’ need dental care as much as adults. No matter whichever age group they belong, children need extractions, fillings, and other dental restorations to fix the decayed tooth. The bacteria from the dental infection can result in an abscess. It can negatively affect the kid’s dental structure and even make things difficult for permanent teeth. So, never ignore dental issues in kids and make sure they do not skip their annual dental check-up at the clinic.
As pointed out by professor Monty Duggal in one of his stories published in the Faculty Dental Journal, some parents and even dentists think milk teeth are not worth treating. Thus, young children end up suffering from blood poisoning, facial infection, and immense pain. Several hospitals in the UK end up performing an emergency tooth extraction due to extreme decay and illness. Parents indirectly put their children at risk when they believe the baby tooth should be left untreated and allowed to drop out naturally.
The negligent attitude is an international phenomenon
Recent research conducted in the UK by YouGov has brought some exciting insights under the limelight. Out of the overall participants in the survey, 40 per cent of the parents with kids in the age group 3 to 12 said their children spend less than a minute in brushing. Now, the surprising part, 12 per cent of the participating parents said their kids brush for 30 seconds or less. The same study pointed out that parents often find it stressful to convince their kids for brushing teeth.
If you need a trustworthy dental office in Roswell (GA) with expertise in pediatric dental care as well, you should fix an appointment at TruCare Dentistry.