October 8, 2016
The most basic part of you and your children’s dental hygiene regimen is a toothbrush. You probably haven’t given it much consideration, which is curious seeing as how you put it in your mouth every day. Have you thought about which is the best type for your child? When might it be time for a new one? Your children’s dentist in Thornton, CO gives you the facts on this every day part of your family’s life.
Do you remember when you learned how to brush your teeth? You probably recall it as well as learning to walk or talk. It just seems like something you’ve always been able to do. Your own experience with your children probably dispels that myth quickly. It would probably surprise you to know that even most adults are not brushing their teeth correctly. Parents serve as the primary models for good oral care for their children, so it’s best they do it correctly themselves. They usually the basics, but a few key details can make all the difference.
- Brush at least twice a day, ideally in the morning and before you go to bed
- Brush at least two minutes each time (most people do not brush long enough)
- Be sure to brush the inner and outer surfaces of your teeth, as well as the chewing surfaces on your back teeth
- Move the toothbrush in a gentle circular motion; try to avoid scrubbing like you would with a sponge
This slight motion more effectively breaks up plaque on your teeth. People typically don’t think while brushing, which is how they can miss cleaning large areas like the back teeth. This is especially true for children. Take a little extra time to make sure you and your children are thorough. Another thing you can do is make sure everyone brushes their tongues to ensure you all have fresh breath. This may give your kids a little tickle, but it’s worth it.
What about the Actual Brush?
One of the most common questions is which type of toothbrush should you get for your children: manual or electric? Both are effective at cleaning your teeth, so the answer comes down to personal preferences.
Manual toothbrushes are easy to use and cheap, and most of the time you can get one for free whenever you visit us at Treasured Teeth. They also tend to be more durable than electric toothbrushes since they do not have any moving parts. Just make sure to get a soft bristled brush, as hard bristles may actually damage your children’s teeth. Also be sure to only get them a fluoride toothpaste once they are able to spit, as swallowing too much fluoride can be unhealthy for young children.
Electric toothbrushes have been shown to remove more plaque than manual toothbrushes, but they require more maintenance and need to be charged routinely. Studies have shown that children are more willing to brush will electric toothbrushes simply because they require them to do less work. The true key to both is routine and consistency. The toothbrush they are willing to use every day is the one they should have. Regardless of which, toothbrushes should typically be replaced every 3-4 months. This might be a little shorter for children’s toothbrushes, and is not a hard and fast rule for adult brushes either. Use your eye to monitor fraying on the brush-head. Once the bristles start to bend out like petals of a flower, it’s definitely time for a replacement.
The Extra Mile
Brushing and flossing are essential for healthy teeth, but so are regular check-ups with the dentist. Your home routine simply cannot reach every part of your teeth, so plaque and tartar can easily build up as time goes by. Be sure to bring your children in to see Dr. Tippets and Dr. Lacy at least twice a year so they can keep them smiling. If you have any other questions about toothbrushes or which you should use, please give us a call today.
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