Have you taught your children how to brush their teeth properly? Without the right guidance from parents and dentists, children may brush their teeth improperly. Using the wrong tooth-brushing technique can increase the risk of tooth decay and gum disease for both children and adults.
Keeping your children's teeth intact and healthy is important to their oral development. Here are five good reasons to ensure that you teach your children how to brush their teeth properly.
1. Brushing too hard damages tooth enamel
You only need to apply firm but gentle pressure to your teeth while brushing. If you don't teach your children this, they may apply too much force while brushing. Over time, using too much force while brushing your teeth can damage your teeth by wearing away the enamel surface. Primary (baby) teeth have less enamel than secondary (adult) teeth, so brushing too hard can be very damaging.
Teach your children to apply firm but gentle pressure while brushing, and to rely on the bristles, not brute force, to remove food debris and plaque.
2. Dental plaque causes tooth decay and gum disease
Dental plaque forms on every surface of teeth, including the biting surfaces and the fronts and backs of teeth. So using poor technique can miss some dental plaque, especially the plaque that forms along the gum line. Dental plaque is acidic, which means it causes tooth decay and gum disease if not removed promptly.
Teach your children to use the Bass method of brushing or the Stillman technique. These techniques require you to hold the toothbrush at a 45-degree angle, so you can remove dental plaque from every surface of your teeth, including the gum line.
3. Dental plaque causes bad breath
Dental plaque doesn't just cause tooth decay and gum disease. It also causes bad breath, since plaque contains rotting food debris and the secreted acids of oral bacteria. Bad breath might cause problems for your children while they interact socially with other children at school. Proper brushing techniques, like the Bass method, will prevent bad breath.
And since plaque also forms on the tongue, be sure to encourage your children to brush their tongues too.
4. Not brushing long enough leads to dental problems
The ADA (American Dental Association) recommends that people brush their teeth for two minutes. Many people either brush their teeth for too long or not long enough. Two minutes allows enough time to ensure the removal of food debris and plaque while using proper brushing techniques. Teach your children to brush for two minutes to protect their teeth from tooth decay and gum disease.
Are you and your children brushing your teeth properly? Be sure to teach your children the right brushing techniques, so they can protect their teeth from tooth decay and gum disease.
Reach out to a dentist in your area for more information.