How to: instil good oral hygiene in your child
‘So use your time wisely, look after your teeth, and try not to hurt anyone.’
So goes one of the greatest lines written by singer-songwriter Aidan Moffat, from his song ‘The Greatest Story Ever Told.’
And he’s right on all counts, but the virtues of looking after your teeth are often overlooked until it’s too late.
When your gums are necrotising and gingivitis is making your breath smell rancid, that’s the moment you appreciate how important good oral hygiene really is.
Explaining this to children can, however, be fiendishly difficult, especially when they view brushing their teeth as nothing more than a dull chore.
But there are plenty of ways that you can make sure their teeth are in good shape throughout their childhood and into their teens, and many strategies can help instil a good oral routine within them.
We’ve come up with a few ways to help you make sure your children’s teeth are always clean. Read them and take heed.
Electric toothbrushes are clinically proven to clean teeth and gums more effectively, and they take a lot of the work out of traditional brushing.
Dr Nigel Carter OBE, Chief Executive of the Oral Health Foundation, says, ‘Health experts have been speaking about the benefits of electric toothbrushes for many years. This latest piece of evidence is one of the strongest and clearest yet – electric toothbrushes are better for our oral health.
‘Electric toothbrushes, especially those with heads that rotate in both directions, or oscillating heads, are really effective at removing plaque. This helps keep tooth decay and gum disease at bay.
‘As the science behind the advantages of electric toothbrushes is mounting, the decision whether to invest in one becomes much easier.
‘Given the advantages of electric toothbrushes, having one is an excellent investment and could really benefit the health of your mouth.’
- Get straightened out
Wonky teeth are unsightly, but they’re much more than an aesthetic problem.
If your teeth aren’t straight then food is much more likely to become lodged in them, and brushing out those remnants will be much more difficult. The end result? A greater chance of dirt build-up.
The most obvious escape route from this fate is braces, which are now much less awkward and painful to use than in previous decades thanks to companies like Portman Smile Clinic, who offer a huge range of teeth straightening options. So your child won’t have to live with the social stigma of railroad track braces.
- Go sugar-free
It’s so easy to let your children feast on sugary snacks in their youth, particularly when they’re begging you for a bag of Tangfastics in the supermarket. But a quiet life wasn’t what you signed up for as a parent, so stand your ground and say no when they ask.
Sugary snacks are the bane of every dental professional’s life, and with good reason. They cause immense amounts of decay. So limit your child’s sugar intake as much as you can. They’ll thank you later.
That’s our list. How do you keep your child’s teeth clean? Let us know in the comments