First thing in the morning and before bed are the times when most people, kids and adults alike, brush their teeth. This is when teeth need cleaning the most, but these times of day are not always conducive to taking enough time, and being thorough.
In the morning, you and your kids are often in a rush to get out the door for work, school, or sports. You’re also probably all still a bit groggy, having recently woken up, and distracted by thoughts of what you need to do for the day.
In the evening, 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.
These distractions can sometimes mean that you and your kids don’t take as much time as you should to brush your teeth. The fact is, most people don’t spend nearly enough time brushing their teeth, and this can have negative long term effects on oral health, for both children and adults.
Idealy, each brushing session should last for a minimum of two minutes. On that note, here are some tips and ideas from the Smile Town Burnaby team to help you make sure your whole family is putting in enough time brushing every day.
Set a timer
This is a pretty straightforward one. Set a timer, and tell your kids that they must keep brushing until the beep! Start at 2 minutes, and work your way up to 3 as they get used to brushing longer.
Play a song
Turn on the radio or MP3 player, and brush for the duration of a whole song. Most songs last at least 2 or 3 minutes, and spending a little extra time won’t hurt.
Alternatively, a quick Google search will provide you with lots of brushing-specific songs for kids that last about two minutes.
Brush during commercials
If your kids are watching a TV show before bed, or Sunday morning cartoons, send them to the bathroom at the commercial break. Then have them brush until their show comes back on.
Brush as a family
This can be a little tough if you have a big family and a small bathroom, but brushing together as a family can be fun! It means spending a little extra time together (even if it’s only a few minutes), and that you’re all accountable to each other. This can be great for mom and dad’s oral health, too.
Pay special attention to the backs of your teeth
The side of your teeth that faces the inside of your mouth is the most difficult to reach, and most awkward to brush correctly. So make sure your whole family takes extra care and time when brushing the backs of their teeth, and continues to use proper brushing techniques.