Pick a Video and Brush!

at-home-dental-hygiene kids brush teethKids don’t like to brush their teeth.

If you have children at home, then you know that this is not an earth-shattering statement. However, it is essential for both kids and adults to build consistently good habits when it comes to dental health. Dr. Jennifer McLeod, a dentist in Newberg, Oregon regularly encourages parents and their kids to brush and floss their teeth regularly as part of good preventative dental care.

Recognizing this need, the Ad Council has put together a fun and informative alternative to helping kids make a habit of brushing their teeth.

How Often Should We Brush Our Teeth?

Because of the amount of plaque that tends to stick around on the surfaces of our teeth, kids and adults of all ages need to brush their teeth at least twice a day. Plaque won’t leave of its own accord; it needs to be forcibly removed through brushing and flossing.

To ensure that teeth are as clean and smooth as possible, have your child brush for two minutes straight. Teach your child to brush all surfaces of her teeth, including those hard to reach back teeth and the back surfaces of the front teeth. Teach your child to hold the toothbrush bristles at an angle against her teeth and gums, and to use short, gentle strokes to remove plaque. Have kids use a pea-sized amount of fluoridated toothpaste as well.

Two Minutes To Brush? That Seems Like a Long Time.

Two minutes can go by really fast when you’re doing something fun – how many of us have watched cute videos of babies and kittens? However, two minutes might seem like a long time to your child who doesn’t have a real concrete sense of how much time has passed. To help kids keep brushing for a full two minutes, try a video!

The Ad Council has produced a website that provides fun and informative videos that kids can use when brushing their teeth. There are videos featuring Elmo, Tom & Jerry, Bugs Bunny, Adventure Time and The Dream Jam Band. About two minutes long, each of these videos can help kids get used to brushing their teeth for two minutes straight.

Once your child has brushed to one of these videos, do a spot-check to make sure they are reaching all of the surfaces of their teeth.

What About Flossing Kids’ Teeth?

While flossing doesn’t need to occur for two minutes straight, it is important that kids learn to floss their teeth once a day as part of good preventative dental care. Teach your children to use a length of floss and wrap each end around one of their fingers. Then place the floss in between teeth and up to the gumline, moving it back and forth in a C-shape around the edge of each tooth.

This will keep plaque from sticking around those hard-to-reach places and help your child maintain a bright and healthy smile!