Brushing Your Teeth
Healthy teeth are a very important part of kids health. Children should brush their teeth at least twice a day. A healthy diet will also help to keep your teeth healthy. That means lots of fruit and vegetables, drinking water and only have sweet things as treats. Tooth decay, rotten and black teeth are sadly common in children but can be avoided by looking after your teeth well.
Brushing Children’s Teeth
- Brush at least twice a day, or three if you are keen
- Wait 20 minutes after eating to brush
- Use a soft bristled brush
- Age appropriate tooth brush
- Rinse the tooth brush to remove bacteria
- Spit out but don’t rinse your mouth, the toothpaste will continue to give you some protection
- Start brushing in a different place every time
- Use a pea size amount of children’s tooth paste
- Brush all the surfaces. Front, back, top and bottom
- Brush in circles or up and down but not horizontally
- Brush for 2 minutes
Children need to learn to brush their teeth properly so do it with them but show them how to do it.
They can do it by themselves from the age of 7.
Check your Brushing Technique
You can buy special tablets or drops at the pharmacy that you use after you have brushed your teeth. They stain the plaque that is still there and show you where you haven't brushed very well. It’s a great idea to use them from time to time.
Electric Tooth Brushes for Children
Electric tooth brushes are not necessary but they are great fun. They can be used to help children enjoy brushing their teeth.
Mouth Wash and Dental Floss for Children
Children can use mouth wash from the age of 6 or 7, when they can reliably spit it all out and not swallow it.
Dental floss is recommended when the sides of their teeth meet so that you cannot brush in between them. They may need some help, depending on their age.
Children should go to the Dentist
Take your children to the dentist from an early age. To begin with, it will just be getting them used to being there but it's important that children go to the dentist regularly.
Fluoride Drops or Fluoride in the tap water.
Some places, such as the UK, add fluoride to the tap water so that as you drink you are getting small amounts of fluoride that help to strengthen your teeth. Some places don't add fluoride to the tap water. If you drink bottled water it probably isn’t added.
Some people give their children fluoride tablets or drops. In some places you can buy it at the pharmacy. In other places you need a prescription from your paediatrician or dentist.
If you are worried that your child is not getting fluoride, talk to your dentist. Many dentists don't recommend it unless your child has a problem with their teeth.
Diet affects your Teeth
- Sweets as treats
- Treats after meals
- Drink water
Sweet and acidic things are the main culprits in contributing to tooth decay. Sweets, cakes, ice cream, biscuits, all things with a high sugar content, should be given as treats rather than on a regular basis.
The worst kind of sweets for your teeth are boiled sweets, the ones that stay in your mouth for a long time such as lolly pops.
It is better to have treats straight after a meal rather than in between meals.
Remember than drinks also contain large amounts of sugar, including fruit juice. Fizzy drinks are especially bad. Water is the best drink for everyone.
Teach your children to look after their teeth so that they have strong healthy teeth and don’t get tooth decay.