Regular brushing is an essential part of good oral hygiene. Not brushing can be harmful to the dental and general health of your child, and can have lifelong effects. But, as every parent knows, it is a daily challenge getting children to brush their teeth. Knowing whether your child is regularly cleaning his or her teeth can be difficult, especially where you cannot supervise each session, such as during school lunch time.
Here are nine simple ways to detect if your child is not taking care of those pearly whites.
1. A dry tooth brush is a definite sign that your child is skipping on brushing his teeth. So, inspect your child’s tooth brush before it gets the chance to dry naturally.
2. Are there food particles in your child’s teeth? Get your child to smile and if you can see bits of food stuck in between his teeth, it is time for a re-brushing.
3. Brushing the teeth properly usually takes about two minutes. If your child comes out of the bathroom a minute after he went in for tooth brushing, he is not brushing long enough.
4. Does you child have bad breath? This could be a sign he is not brushing enough or not brushing his teeth at all. Brushing should include cleaning of teeth as well as the tongue. Make sure to teach your child to include brushing the tongue to remove food particles.
5. Wet your child’s finger and tell him to rub it up-down and side to side on the surface of his teeth. If you cannot hear a squeaky sound then your child’s teeth are not sufficiently clean.
6. How often do you need to replenish dental floss? If it takes you months before you run out, it means your child is barely using them or not flossing at all. Your child should floss at least once a day to remove food particles that are stuck in between the teeth, because they cause bad breath.
7. A clean tongue should be pink; not white. If your child’s tongue is white because of bacteria then you will need to personally supervise your child’s tooth brushing and teach him to clean his tongue.
8. Does your child have cavities? Cavities at an early age could be a sign that your child is not brushing his teeth properly, regularly.
9. Does your child cover his mouth every time he talks? Could he be hiding something like yellow teeth or tooth decay? It is worthwhile investigating.
Using the above points, you can easily find out whether your child is brushing or not. American Dental Association recommends that children follow these steps to keep their teeth clean, strong and healthy.
* Brush with fluoride toothpaste twice each day. Spit out all the toothpaste!
* Floss once a day with a grown-up’s help.
* Eat and drink nutritious foods and beverages and limit snacks.
* Visit their dentist regularly.
SO teach good habits; ensure a healthy, smiling childhood.