Are Your Kids Brushing Their Teeth


Last week I was spent some time with a friend of mine whom is a dentist and we were discussing how children these days seem to see the dentist for the first time in the hospital. These are children, typically under the age of 5, that have not been taught to properly take care of their teeth. Of course their diet plays a large role in tooth decay as well. YOu can't let your kids sip on soda pop all day without problems.

Your teeth are meant to last a lifetime! Tooth decay, or cavities, and periodontal disease, also known as gum disease, can be avoided or reduced by the daily removal of plaque.

Plaque is made up of germs that live on your teeth all the time. It is important to remove this plaque daily to prevent these germs from making acid and other products that can cause cavities and harm your gums and the bone around your teeth.

If you spend less than three minutes brushing your teeth, all the plaque is probably not being removed. Also, a toothbrush with worn-out bristles cannot clean your teeth properly. Try to replace your toothbrush at least every three to four months.

A dental home care plan should include:
  • daily toothbrushing with a soft toothbrush that is not worn out or frayed
  • using dental floss daily to clean areas that are hard for your toothbrush to reach — between your teeth and under the gumline
  • using a toothpaste or mouthrinse with fluoride
  • eating balanced meals and limiting foods high in sugar

To brush away the plaque on your teeth, follow these steps:

Start by brushing the sides of your teeth that touch your cheek. Angle your toothbrush so it is up against your teeth and gums and jiggle the toothbrush back and forth in small strokes. Do only a few teeth at a time, and do it several times in each spot.
When you have completed the cheek side of your top and bottom teeth, brush the side that faces your tongue on the top and bottom teeth in the same way.

Brush the flat, chewing surfaces of your top and bottom teeth. These surfaces have many deep grooves where germs can “hide out.” Brush your tongue when you finish brushing your teeth to help your mouth feel fresher. To maintain the health of your teeth and gums, clean in between your teeth with dental floss after toothbrushing.