At what age should children start cleaning their teeth?
Cleaning teeth starts from the appearance of the first tooth. A toothbrush is not used, but teeth are wiped once or twice a day with a bundle of cotton wool or gauze soaked in water or unsweetened tea.
Children can use a toothbrush with their parent’s help only when all baby (first) teeth have grown. Parents should teach their children how to brush their teeth through play, however, without using a toothpaste.
After the third year of life, a toothpaste can be used. Its taste and ingredients need to be suitable for the child’s age.
Only when children start school, can we expect them to be able to brush their teeth independently. However, they will still need supervision, since they do not understand the importance of cleaning teeth, and therefore always look for ways of avoiding this duty.
How many times a day should our teeth be cleaned?
One rule states that teeth should be brushed after each meal, but ours and our children’s everyday obligations do not allow us to follow this rule. Fortunately, it is sufficient to brush our teeth twice a day, in the morning after waking up or having breakfast, and after the last evening meal.
What toothbrush is the best?
The best toothbrush is the regularly used toothbrush.
It is essential that the size of a toothbrush is adequate for a child’s age. Fortunately, nowadays, a wide range of toothbrushes is available, and we only need to look around.
When first starting to clean a child’s teeth, a soft-bristled toothbrush (SOFT – S) should be used. This is to prevent hurting children’s sensitive mouth and to make brushing teeth as pleasant as possible. Children’s attention can be easily attracted by various toothbrush shapes, making it one of their favourite toys.
When a child starts school, we should move to a medium-bristled toothbrush labelled M – MEDIUM, and use it for the rest of our life, except in some special conditions.
The cost of a toothbrush does not always match its quality, and we can sometimes achieve the same results with the cheapest toothbrush. We recommend the following manufacturers: ORAL B, PIAVE, BUTLER….
What toothpaste is the best?
Toothpaste is used from the third year of age. It should be mild with various tastes to attract child’s attention. Fluoride-containing toothpaste is used from the age of three.
In later ages, it is important that the toothpaste contains a sufficient amount of fluoride, which is the case with all toothpastes today. Therefore, we do not need to worry too much about the choice of toothpaste.
COLGATE products are of the best quality in this group.
What is the correct way of cleaning teeth?
The most popular description is that:
? Upper teeth are brushed using the ’falling rain’ movements, while
? Lower teeth are brushed using the ’growing grass’ movements.
It is necessary to brush all surfaces, the outer ones, those used for biting, but also the inner side of teeth.
The teeth brushing technique can be enriched by some other elements, but only after these simple instructions have been mastered.
How do we know whether our teeth have been properly cleaned?
Patients often complain that their problems persist in spite of regularly cleaning their teeth. The easiest way to avoid this is to check how well we clean our teeth, by using the product that paints over dental plaque.
The product is called VIDIPLAK, and can be purchased as drops or tablets.
After your teeth have been cleaned, it is enough to chew a little Vidiplak tablet, which is totally harmless both for you and your child. The remaining plaque will change colour, showing whether your teeth have been adequately cleaned.
Use of dental floss: from what age, how many times a day, what kind of floss?
Cleaning teeth properly and regularly is only one aspect of adequate hygiene. Complete oral and dental hygiene cannot be achieved without the use of dental floss.
Flossing should be a regular part of children’s hygiene since the age of ten. However, in the beginning, flossing is done with a parent’s help, and only when a child completely masters the flossing technique, can it be used independently.
Since the majority of children of that age are not sufficiently serious and do not understand the importance of regular oral and dental hygiene, it is essential to supervise them and check whether they look after their teeth properly.
Ideally, dental floss should be used after each meal. Nevertheless, once a day should be sufficient, during the last brushing, i.e. after the last meal.
Although wax floss is often not recommended, we consider wax floss more pleasant, and as efficient. It is also much easier to get used to wax floss.
What should our diet look like?
Apart from everyday hygiene, our diet is one of the most important general health factors, but is also very important for our oral and dental health.
Sticky and sweetened food such as chocolates, sweets, caramel sweets, sticky cakes, sweetened drinks etc., should be avoided.
This does not mean that one should never eat this kind of food. However, it is important to pay attention to the frequency of such snacks. If these foods are consumed with the main meal, and our teeth cleaned afterwards, this type of food can only affect our weight. On the other hand, brushing our teeth three times a day will be fruitless if we also nibble this type of food in between. A
s far as caries is concerned, the least harmless foods are brown bread, corn bread, apples, carrots and different kinds of fruit and vegetables.
Use of fluoride tablets and other fluoride products?
Fluoride products are nowadays available to everyone. Their benefits have been proven several times in various studies.
There are products available in the form of tablets, gels and mouth wash solutions.
Protocols for the use of these products have been defined in detail. For each separate case, dentist will tell the patient which product should be used and how. Independent use of these products is not recommended.
These products are completely safe if used in accordance with your dentist’s advice.
However, fluoride products do not replace adequate hygiene, but only contribute to better health. In other words, use of fluoride products alone will not bring any significant results. These products will only give real results with adequate hygiene.