Wednesday, 19 June 2013

How to Take Care of Those Little Teeth*

Caring for your teeth, whatever your age, relies on establishing a rigid regime. Good dental health is not only important for your overall health and fitness but can also affect your confidence and perceptions of your appearance.

When encouraging little ones to adopt teeth cleaning as part of their daily routine, parents can encounter difficulties though. Many young children are reluctant to brush their teeth or struggle to do it correctly – so how can you help them take care of their little gnashers?

Show them how to brush their teeth

While brushing teeth twice a day is always recommended, it is equally important that teeth are brushed correctly. Using too much force or brushing in the wrong direction could mean children don’t clean every part of their teeth and could even result in damage to gums or teeth enamel. Dentists can show your children how to brush correctly using props and tools but you can encourage this learning by helping them at home.

Brushing for them may not be possible, least of all because little ones often want to appear independent, so why not brush your teeth at the same time as them? That way you can set an example of what to do, offering advice and assistance where necessary, and also show them that dental hygiene is an important part of their life both now and in the future.

Explain when to brush

It can be counter productive to brush your teeth straight after eating. Not giving your saliva and digestive enzymes enough time to break down your food means you risk compacting small pieces of undigested food into your gums. That’s why you should wait at least 45 minutes after a meal before brushing. Make sure your child’s dinners and breakfasts are prepared with enough time to allow them to eat at a comfortable rate and wait the necessary time before brushing.

Use the right products

Brushing technique is an important part of dental hygiene but which products you use is equally as important. Child-friendly toothpastes, mouthwashes and other dental hygiene products are all readily available but it may be possible to buy products suitable for the whole family.

A toothpaste that cleans as well as whitens such as Oral B pro expert will leave teeth gleaming for the next day and you can find out if they’re suitable for children by reading the packaging or speaking to your dentist. A little mouthwash, go for an alcohol-free variety, will help eliminate any excess bacteria while floss is great for helping guard against gum disease by ensuring every part of the mouth is thoroughly cleaned.

Image courtesy of Michal Marcol /

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