As mentioned in last weeks article, March 20th is World Oral Health Day and the theme this year is Live Mouth Smart. To commemorate it, throughout the month of March, we will be discussing ways in which you can do this. We will start by talking about effectively brushing. Here are 3 ways to make it both fun for kids and effective.
Visualisation is a key factor to learning anything, including brushing. Try this simple craft made out of the end of a soft drink bottle to help your kids better understand what it involves to properly brush their teeth. This craft is designed to help children visualise what exactly a dentist does when they come in to get their teeth checked and cleaned. It also helps them understand what exactly they are doing when they brush their teeth themselves as it shows them all the deep grooves that a tooth brush needs to get into to effectively clean their teeth.
To make it, simply cut the end of a 1L soft drink bottle. An optional extra step is to paint the inside of it white to imitate teeth. Then give your child an old toothbrush and get them to practice getting it into all the grooves of the bottle. You can explain to them that this is what teeth look like and when they come to get their teeth checked at the dentist, these are some of the areas we look at specifically. You can also explain to them the importance of getting their toothbrush into all the grooves in the bottle and how they need to be just as vigilant about cleaning their teeth as thoroughly.
Plaque Disclosing Tablets
A mistake among children and adults when it comes to brushing, is simply not brushing thoroughly enough. It’s quite common to go into autopilot when brushing and miss areas such as the more difficult areas to brush. Another way for kids and adults to understand effective tooth brushing it to stain plaque red so you can see where you have brushed well and where there could be some improvement. This can be done using plaque disclosing tablets that can be purchased from some chemists or at your local dentist.
These tablets work by chewing on them for around 30seconds and then spitting them out into the sink. The tablets are usually red and will leave a red stain on plaque or regions of the mouth that have not been brushed properly. You then simply brush those regions clean. This is a good way of providing an easy incentive to brush better.
Brushing Long Enough
Another common mistake made when brushing is simply not brushing for long enough. Studies have shown that it takes approximately 2 minutes to effectively and thoroughly clean your teeth. Most people don’t brush for nearly long enough. Using a simple 2 minute timer or one of the several tooth brushing apps is a good way to making brushing fun as well as ensuring you are brushing your teeth for long enough.
Starting healthy brushing habits during young can help set your kids up for a lifetime of healthy teeth. We hope these tips can help you and your family “Live Mouth Smart” this month and always.