How Effective Is Your Child’s Oral Hygiene Routine?

3rd October 2017 | 0 comments

Parents often struggle getting children to brush their teeth.  However having an effective oral hygiene routine in place at an early age is essential to helping your children maintain good dental health as they age.  It is encouraged to start a tooth brushing routine as soon as your child’s first tooth appears.   Regular tooth brushing is required to remove plaque build-up on teeth.  Poor oral hygiene in combination with frequent consumption of sugary foods and drinks is the leading cause of dental decay, particularly in children.  If these issues are not addressed, it may ultimately lead to tooth pain and/or tooth loss. 

Despite the fact that children will lose their baby/milk teeth naturally at some point, these teeth are very important to your child’s health and development. They help your child to chew, to speak, and to smile. These baby teeth also have the job of holding space in the jaws for the adult teeth that are still growing under the gums. When a baby tooth is lost too early, the adjacent teeth can drift into the empty space and make it difficult for the adult tooth to find room when it comes through. This can make teeth crooked or crowded which, aside from the aesthetics aspect, can also make it more difficult to clean and care for the adult teeth in the long run. In rare circumstances, an infected baby tooth can also cause damage to the growing adult tooth underneath. 

One way to encourage your child to brush their teeth more effectively and more often is by using disclosing tablets to illustrate the plaque build-up on poorly brushed teeth. 

If teeth are properly cleaned, they will not stain with a disclosing tablet.  However as you can see in the picture above, if teeth have not been brushed well, the colour from the disclosing tablet sticks to the plaque.  Patients often think that plaque is food debris. However, plaque is actually a sticky deposit made of bacteria.  If this plaque is not removed regularly with good tooth brushing techniques, then your child may require more invasive dental treatments in order to retain their natural teeth in adulthood.  

Just like adults, children should be brushing their teeth for at least two minutes twice a day. We have tooth brushing timers available at the practice which can make tooth brushing a bit more fun and also help children understand how long they should spend brushing their teeth.  Our tooth brush timers also come with 10 disclosing tablets.

Make sure that your children also have regular examinations.   Our dentists can give you and your children advice and instruction on how best to care for their teeth and gums as well as spot any dental problems early on.  Ensuring that your children receive good oral hygiene instruction and care helps to protect their teeth for decades to come as well as to minimize the need for more complicated, costly dental treatment in the future.    


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