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Importance of Children Brushing Their Teeth

While some believe “practice makes perfect,” I believe that it can also be said that “practice makes permanent.” The latter statement can greatly apply to the basic and daily routines of brushing our teeth.

The methods that we practice regularly for taking care of our oral health at home, via brushing our teeth and flossing, generally develop in the early stages of life. They can even start when we grow our first set of teeth as children. This means that the routine developed as children can follow us into adulthood as permanent habits. This calls for proper brushing methods to be implemented as a child.

The question that then arises is, how do I get my children to brush their teeth, and do so efficiently? Some children may be reluctant to brush their teeth because it may make them uncomfortable, irritated, or simply that there is not fun in it. Luckily, there has been a rise of child-friendly tools and technology that could help with that, and they exceed Spongebob-decorated toothbrushes.

Electronic toothbrushes today often come in children editions, such as the Philips Sonicare for Kids. The Sonicare for Kids features timers that can help the user determine how long to brush and how much time to spend on each quadrant of the teeth by playing friendly notification sounds. The brush heads can be switched to adjust to growing children as well as different brush modes to adjust to sensitivity. Aesthetics can also play a part in the child’s interest in using the toothbrush, which is addressed to with decorated interchangeable faceplates.

There are even mobile apps that help in adding an entertainment value to everyday brushing. Philips’ “Brush Busters” is a mobile app that makes brushing your teeth fun. As an interactive video game, it helps motivate children to thoroughly brush their teeth with instructions while collecting achievements and clearing stages in the mobile app game.

Startup projects such as Kolibree also come into play by making your toothbrush smart. The Bluetooth toothbrush tracks your brushing habits and records it into the app in your phone. This allows you to review your own brushing methods and even show your dentist as well! This advance in technology will definitely allow your dentist to better evaluate your oral health.

In addition to developing brushing habits, children also face high risks of dental caries, or tooth decay. This may largely be in part due to the exposure of sugary food and drinks in children’s diets. Childhood dental caries can affect speech, nutrition intake, cognitive learning, and sleeping -amongst other things. (1)

Even if the sugar intake of our children can be monitored, there are also many other things that contribute to childhood dental caries. Some of these things include:

  • Bottle feeding in the night may have decreased salivary flow in an infant’s mouth, causing carcinogenic effects.
  • Bacteria can more easily break through tooth enamel if it does not remineralize, which can be caused by a low intake of fluoride.
  • The socioeconomic status of the child can affect their access to proper dental healthcare.
  • Improper ways of personal dental hygiene or no having no methods at all. (2)

With this being said, it is important for the child to practice proper dental hygiene and have regular visits to their dentist. It is not only the duty of the child, but also that of parents as well to enforce these practices.

 

 

  1. American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry. http://www.aapd.org/assets/2/7/ECCstats.pdf.
  2. Dentistry iQ: http://www.dentistryiq.com/articles/2014/09/toothbrushing-science-or-child-s-play.html?sponsored=topic9
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2233 Seneca Street, Buffalo, NY 14210
Phone: 823-2898
Fax: 823-0903
Email: 4adentist@gmail.com
"My promise to you is that our office will treat you to some of the gentlest dental care available in Western New York. We provide this by utilizing the highest diagnostic skills, state-of-the-art dental equipment, treatment planning and procedures all integrated by our highly trained staff. Our team constantly updates its technical skills and strives for perfection in every procedure it undertakes. You have my word that the Hyde dental staff will listen to your concerns and desires and they will come first in any treatment plan we develop." - Dr. Joseph A. Hyde