Your mouth is the gateway to your overall health, and an unhealthy mouth can be linked to diabetes and heart disease. Did you know that dental decay is the most common chronic childhood disease? Only 44 percent of children brush twice a day and more than 16 million children in the United States suffer from untreated decay.
Together with the American Dental Association (ADA), Medina Orthodontics recommends that kids, as well as adults, brush their teeth in a soft, circular motion for two minutes, twice a day, and floss daily.
Two minutes twice daily is the optimal prevention brushing regimen as it takes two minutes for the tooth enamel to uptake the fluoride in toothpaste. In addition to allowing time for fluoride to work, there is the physical massage of the tooth surfaces that removes the plaque and makes a clean surface for the fluoride to do its job. When the enamel absorbs fluoride, it makes the tooth surface harder and more resistant to the bacteria-produced acids that cause tooth decay.
The benefits of brushing for 2 minutes:
- Clean teeth
- Healthy gums
- Nice breath
Beginning with the eruption of the first tooth, parents should begin brushing their child’s teeth with a small amount of fluoride toothpaste. Please remember that a baby or toddler should never use fluoride toothpaste unsupervised or independently.
The Partnership for Healthy Mouths, Healthy Lives recommends that parents supervise their child’s brushing until age 8. Supervising your child’s brushing gives you an opportunity to teach them how to brush.
- Brush at an angle against the gums.
- Move the brush in gentle, short strokes back and forth.
- Brush the front, back of teeth, and the tops of molars.
- Brush the tongue or use a tongue scraper to remove germs and keep breath fresh.
It is also important to floss at least once a day, to clean in between the teeth where the toothbrush can’t reach. Parents should start flossing their child’s teeth as soon as they notice that teeth are touching…which could be as early as two years of age.
2min2x.org has videos to help your child brush the recommended 2 minutes each time. It can be fun to play the video for your kids to watch while brushing to get them started with this healthy habit. Remember to use a fluoride toothpaste with the ADA seal of acceptance while brushing.