Category: Tooth Brushing

Revenge of the Peeps – Winning the holiday candy battle

brushing teeth fights candy residue
Holidays like Easter are great times to reinforce healthy brushing habits with children.

According to CNBC, Easter barely edged out Halloween in 2016 as the most candy-ful holiday in the U.S., with $823 million in sales. But if you’re a parent, all the numbers boil down to one thing – your little one probably has jellybeans and marshmallow Peeps stuck in their tiny teeth this week.

Easter is a great opportunity to teach or reinforce good brushing habits with your kids. It’s also good time to establish expectations about consuming candy and sweets. This is important for not just their dental health, but also for overall nutrition and healthy eating habits.

Too Early?

Parents can begin brushing from the appearance of baby’s first teeth. You should continue to brush and/or supervise the child’s daily mouth care routine until they are ready for elementary school. The American Dental Association recommends that by the time your child can tie their own shoes, they should also be able to brush and floss their teeth by themselves.

Some standard guidelines for brushing kids’ teeth;

  •    Children should use a pea-sized amount of toothpaste and not swallow it
  •    Clean all tooth surfaces – inside, outside, and tops – all the way to the gum line
  •    Brush gently, back and forth
  •    Don’t forget to brush that tongue!

You can begin flossing and letting children help brush their own teeth at around age four. Of course, you should supervise and help form healthy brushing habits from the beginning. Additionally, candy-heavy holidays like Easter, Halloween and Christmas are the perfect opportunity to teach kids where, when and how much candy its appropriate to consume.

If you need additional tips or help teaching your kids how to brush their teeth, let us know in the message section when you schedule your next check-up.

Brush Your Teeth

Young couple living together, washing teeth in bathroom in the morning. The woman looks happily at her boyfriend. Concept of new relationship and beginningsYes, you’ve been told before. But the truth is, it is likely the most important thing you can do for good dental health. Brushing is your best defense against plaque, the starting place for tartar, cavities, and gum disease.

As the keystone of good dental health, knowing how to brush effectively can significantly reduce your risk of dental problems. Remember that regular maintenance is key—be sure to brush and floss two times a day.

Make an Orderly Habit

First, floss before you brush.

Brush the outside surface of your top teeth first, then the outside of your bottoms. Brush back and forth, making sure that you contact both your teeth and your gums, holding your toothbrush at a 45 degree angle to your teeth.

Pay extra attention to your molars at the back, and remember that you’re likely to brush the teeth on the left side of your mouth better than the right side if you’re right-handed. (And vice-versa.)

Switch to brushing up & down, focusing on each individual tooth, as you move to brush the insides of your top teeth, and then the insides of the bottom.

Finally, go back to long, back and forth strokes to brush the chewing surfaces of your teeth, first for the top, and then the bottom.

It’s a Marathon, Not a Sprint

Two. Whole. Minutes.

That’s how long you should brush for. Yes, that’s quite a while, but this is the mark to shoot for. Set a timer to get used to how long two minutes really is—many people overestimate the amount of time they spend brushing.

Toothbrushes Aren’t Just for Teeth

Your tongue needs regular cleaning, too, and your toothbrush works well for the task. To keep your breath fresh, be sure to brush your tongue when you brush your teeth. This helps to eliminate the bacteria that cause bad breath.

Change Your Toothbrush

When your toothbrush starts to show signs of wear, it’s time for a new one. Even if it’s still looking new, change it out after three months. As toothbrushes can harbor germs, it’s also a good idea to replace your toothbrush as you recover from a cold or other illness to prevent re-infection. Use a toothbrush with soft bristles. Other than that, choose what you’re most comfortable with.

Choose Your Toothpaste

There is a wide variety of toothpaste available, many intended to address specific dental needs. From whitening to tartar control to extra fluoride to sensitive teeth, there is sure to be a toothpaste right for you. Take a moment to speak with your dentist or hygienist at your next appointment to be sure you’re using a type that best supports your individual dental needs.