You know that brushing your and your child's teeth is key to maintaining your oral health. But how often should you be brushing? And why so often and long? Here, our Smile Town North Delta dentists explain some of the whys and hows of brushing.
The Canadian Dental Association (CDA) recommends that you and your child brush your teeth at least one or two times per day (and always before bed) for a minimum of two minutes each time.
But why is this the recommended amount? And how are you supposed to fit that time into your busy schedule? Especially if your child doesn't enjoy brushing their teeth.
Why do I have to brush that often and for so long?
Brushing your teeth helps to preserve your and your child's enamel from the acids produced by food and plaque-producing bacteria.
It is always better to brush your teeth longer and more frequently. In fact, the CDA recommends that people brush their teeth after every meal!
And while we may not be able to do that all the time, brushing at least once a day before bed is a good place to start.
Why Before Bed?
Saliva is our mouth's way of naturally washing away food and plaque. And while we sleep, our body doesn't generate as much of it.
So, if you clean your teeth before you sleep, there are less harmful food bits and bacteria in your mouth to damage your enamel.
Bedtime is also a good time to build brushing into you and your child's daily routine. You can use it to get some together-time at the end your busy day.
How Do I Brush Often and For Long Enough?
It can be difficult motivate yourself and your child to brush and floss regularly and diligently. You may be tired after a long day and the extra bedtime step is just too much or your child may be resistant to brushing and flossing their teeth.
Here are a few ways you can help you and your child find the time (and make sure it's enough time) to brush every day:
Brush During Commercial Breaks
If your day starts or ends with watching a show together, you can time the brush to a commercial break. Plus, the race to and from the bathroom can add playfulness and excitement top the routine for you and your child.
Play A Song
It is easier to take the time to brush when you think about it as the length of your or your child's favourite 2-3 minute song. And there's the added benefit of a good soundtrack to your oral hygiene!
Brush as a Family
If you and your child brush together, you help keep each other accountable. It becomes a way to come together and spend some time with one another amidst your busy day.