Why Brush Your Teeth?

Toothbrushes as we know them today have a long history that dates back thousands of years. Original toothbrushes were made of sticks or twigs with frayed ends, and later on, toothbrushes were made from bone, wood or ivory, and animal hair. Since then, toothbrushes have advanced in design, and modern toothbrushes are effective at removing plaque and food. Toothbrushes also help keep your child’s teeth clean and keep their gums healthy to prevent tooth decay.

Why Brush Your Teeth?

When your child brushes their teeth, they remove food and plaque, which is bacteria that eats away at their teeth. Plaque can eventually become tartar (a hardened form of plaque). When your child does not brush frequently, tartar and plaque can build up, producing acid that erodes their tooth enamel and causes their gums to become irritated. Brushing frequently can help prevent cavities and gum disease, so be sure they brush every day! The ADA recommends brushing a minimum of twice a day (usually in the morning and before bed), or anytime after eating.

Types of Toothbrushes

The two types of toothbrushes available today are manual and powered. Both types of toothbrushes can clean their teeth effectively, but powered toothbrushes can be fun for children, as well as easier to use for those who have difficulty using manual toothbrushes. Dentists recommend that your child use whichever type makes brushing easiest for them. Bristles on toothbrushes come in a variety of firmness, from hard to soft. Many dentists recommend using a soft-bristled toothbrush because hard bristles can possibly damage their enamel, irritate their gums, and contribute to tooth sensitivity.

No matter which type of toothbrush you choose for your child, they should brush their teeth a minimum of twice a day for at least two minutes with fluoride toothpaste. It is also recommended that you replace their toothbrush every 3-4 months, or whenever the bristles seem frayed or worn. Some toothbrushes even have indicators on the bristles that lose or change color when the toothbrush needs to be replaced.

Ask your child’s dentist or dental hygienist for recommendations on how to choose a toothbrush that is best for them. Remember that brushing at home is not enough to ensure optimal dental health. Make sure to visit a pediatric dentist like Camas Orthodontics in Camas, Washington at least twice a year for a professional dental cleaning, which will help clean the areas that brushing can’t reach. We offer a wide variety of dental services from regular checkups to fillings and sealants to ensure the best oral hygiene for your child!