We all know how important brushing and flossing are when it comes to our kid’s teeth and gum’s health. But inadequate and infrequent brushing could be one of the largest obstacles keeping our children from having great oral health. “It’s been found that almost 35% of parents and caregivers admit their children are brushing their teeth less than twice a day,” explains Dr. Maryam Adibfar, one of Toronto’s best dentists located in Davisville. “This becomes a major concern because infrequent brushing can lead to a whole host of oral health issues such as cavities and gingivitis.”
It has also been found that many caregivers and parents feel their children aren’t brushing for the recommended two minutes. “While frequency is important, the duration of brushing is equally as critical when it comes to great oral health,” says Dr. Adibfar. “Brushing for at least two minutes provides the appropriate amount of time required to effectively clean the teeth and support strong oral health.”
It’s no secret that brushing their teeth is often seen as a chore by children, not a fun activity. Getting the to brush often and correctly is an uphill battle for most parents and caregivers. Dr. Adibfar and her team of expert dental professionals put together some easy ideas to help you make brushing more effective.
1 Kids and Brushing: Role Reversal: Rather than always overseeing them brush their teeth, try trading places. Let your children brush your teeth. This is often a bit more fun for them and you can use it as an opportunity to teach them about proper techniques. “Make it more of a game then an educational lesson,” says Dr. Adibfar. “Make the experience fun for them. This will help create important behaviours that will contribute to their oral health success.”
2 Kids and Brushing: Time’s up! Switch!: Tired of setting the timer for two minutes? For a youngster, that can feel like an eternity. Try switching things up a bit. Set a countdown clock for 30 seconds and have them brush their teeth. Once the 30 seconds is up, you brush their teeth for the next 30 seconds. “This keeps things fresh, a bit more exciting and it breaks the typical routine,” explains Dr. Adibfar. “Repeat this countdown process at least twice to get the full two minutes.”
3 Kids and Brushing: Call in the Cavalry: Are your children stubborn when it comes to brushing and flossing? Do you find that nothing changes even after months of trying to teach them the right way to brush their teeth? This can be pretty common. “You might want to think about switching up who’s delivering the message,” says Dr. Adibfar. “Try using your dentist as a third party who can help the situation. Before your next check up, call your dentist and explain what’s happening. They’ll be able to help and are more than willing to lend a hand.”
Sometimes kids need to hear the same message from someone other than their parents or caregiver. If you’re feeling extra creative, you might want to us friends, relatives or their favourite superhero to help teach them about brushing and flossing.
Do you have questions about how to keep your teeth healthy or want to schedule check-up, teeth cleaning or routine exam? Contact us directly!Our team looks forward to seeing you.
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