Today is National Brush Day and it’s no coincidence that this occasion comes after a night of trick or treating. Halloween is a day of excitement and fun for the entire family. The sweet reward for children participating in the festivities is often a bag full of candy. But where sugar goes, “sugar bugs” follow! National Brush Day is a day to highlight the importance of oral health as a component of one’s total well-being. What can parents do to educate their kids?
What Parents Can Do on National Brush Day
Use the day after Halloween to help your children understand the effects of sugary treats on one’s teeth and body as a whole. Why not show them this 2-minute video about tooth decay?
Pro Tip: Select a specific time for your kids to enjoy their Halloween treats and make sure they brush afterward!
Make Brushing Your Teeth Fun!
Keep your kids’ chompers squeaky clean by teaching them how to brush properly. Here are some helpful steps you can follow while brushing your child’s teeth:
- Brush for 2 minutes twice a day.
- Warm the brush with tap water and brush without toothpaste.
- Have your child lie face up on a bed to brush their teeth.
- Rotate the brush head in a narrow circular motion at a 45° angle to the tooth-gum junction. Tilt the brush vertically to clean the inner surfaces of the front teeth.
- Establish a consistent sequence you follow when brushing your child’s teeth as children may interrupt the session and this will help you remember where you left off.
- We recommend the following pattern for brushing:
- Start by first brushing on the cheek surface of the upper right molars and continue along the upper arch.
- Continue in the same manner brushing the lower teeth and then the inner and biting surfaces of all your child’s teeth.
- Finally, brush the tongue.
- Floss your child’s teeth to clean the interdental surfaces after brushing is complete.
- Place a small dab of paste on the child’s brush (fluoridated after 3 years of age or when they can spit the toothpaste out) and let her/him brush. This allows the child to gain experience with brushing and be involved in building healthy habits.
Pro Tip: It is better if the child have their own, second brush. Since we are using their brush for experience sake, it won’t matter if they chew and damage the working end of their brush.
How Parents Can Keep Their Kids’ Teeth Healthy
- It is recommended that parents should brush their child’s teeth until they are 6 years old and monitor brushing thereafter to make sure you say goodbye to all those sugar bugs twice a day.
- Parents should floss their child’s teeth until they are 11 years old or until they can demonstrate the dexterity to floss on their own.
- Older children may use fluoridated toothpaste, but their brushing should be monitored.
- Puffy gums or bleeding from this gingival tissue while brushing or flossing is an indication of gingivitis and the lack of proper hygiene. It may take up to a week of a satisfactory cleaning regimen to heal the damaged tissue.
Craving more tips? Learn more about our pediatric dentistry services. We also recommend checking out 2min2x for great information concerning your child’s oral hygiene and visiting Colgate National Brush Day for more Brushing 101.
Don’t forget to schedule your regular hygiene appointment with our San Diego area pediatric dentists to keep your kid’s oral care in top shape!