Immediately after waking up in the morning and right before bed are when most children and adults brush their teeth. Although these times of day are when teeth are most in need of cleaning, they are not always conducive to taking enough time and being thorough when brushing.
Mornings are often a rush to get out the door for work, school, or sports. You’re also probably all still a bit groggy from having recently woken up, and distracted by thoughts of the day ahead.
At night, you’re likely to be tired, and ready to get to bed, get back to reading your book, or watching one last show on TV.
Distractions like these can mean that you and your kids might not take as much time as you ought to when you brush your teeth. In fact, the majority of people don’t spend nearly enough time brushing their teeth. This can have a long term negative impact on the oral health of both children and adults.
In an ideal world, each brushing session should be a minimum of two minutes in duration. Here are a few tips and ideas from our North Delta children's dentists that may help your family remember to put in enough time brushing every day.
Set a timer
This is simple but effective. Set a timer, and tell your kids that they have to continue brushing until it beeps! Start by setting the timer for 2 minutes, and then work your way up to 3 as your kids get used to brushing longer.
Play a song
Turn on your radio or MP3 player, and brush for the duration of an entire song. Most songs last a minimum 2 or 3 minutes, so this is a fun way to keep yourself from stopping to soon.
For smaller kids, a quick Google search will provide lots of brushing-specific songs that are about two minutes long.
Brush during commercials
If your children like watching a TV shows before bed, or Sunday morning cartoons, send them off to the bathroom at the commercial break to brush. The trick here is that they brush until the show comes back on.
Brush as a family
This can be a bit tricky if you have a small bathroom and a big family, but if you can make it work, brushing together as a family can be fun! It's a practical way to spend a little extra time together (even if it’s only a couple of minutes). Plus, you’re all accountable to each other. This can be really good for mom and dad’s oral health, too.
Pay special attention to the backs of your teeth
The back of your teeth (facing into your mouth) is the most difficult and awkward area to brush. So be sure your kids takes extra care and time when brushing the backs of their teeth, and continue using proper brushing techniques.