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Teaching Kids To Properly Brush Their Teeth

Mother and daughter about to brush teethWe typically begin to teach our kids how to brush their own teeth around the age of 7. Because parents have been brushing their own teeth for so long, most of us think we have a pretty good idea of what we’re doing and how to teach our kids. However, it may surprise you to learn that you might have been brushing your teeth the wrong way! In order to correctly teach your children to brush their teeth, you should first learn the proper method.

How NOT To Brush Your Teeth

If you brush your teeth in a back and forth motion, you’re not alone. This is how most people brush. Additionally, you may feel like brushing harder and faster gets your teeth cleaner more quickly.

The reality of the above method is that the back and forth motion can actually scrub away and weaken your tooth enamel. This can cause your teeth to appear as if they’ve prematurely aged. In addition, weaker tooth enamel can cause tooth sensitivity, dental cavities, and tooth decay.

Lastly, the back and forth method doesn’t actually clean the teeth very well. Not only will this motion cause the bristles to bounce from tooth to tooth, but it can also push the plaque into the spaces between the teeth.

Proper Way To Brush 

When you’re teaching your children how to brush, make sure you teach them the right way. First, have your child put his or her toothbrush over the teeth and begin to wiggle it around the tooth in a circular motion. The bristles should cover each tooth and even between the teeth. Do this for each tooth in the mouth.

Teach your child to brush gently, as vigorous brushing can cause problems for the tooth enamel and even the gum tissue. Gentle brushing is as effective at cleaning the teeth and won’t cause damage.

For more information on properly caring for your child’s teeth, or if you need to make an appointment with Dr. Wilson, please contact Great Outdoor Pediatric Dentistry here at our Dover, NH office.

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