Brushing Teeth Tips for the Whole Family

Smiling Young FamilyIf anyone in your family has unhealthy teeth and gums, this can lead to a domino effect when it comes to their dental health future. There’s more to dental health than your smile, however. Other insidious health conditions such as heart disease, Alzheimer’s, cancer, and strokes have been linked to oral bacteria through what is known as the oral-systemic condition. If you are concerned with bacterial infestations inside your mouth, it’s important to instill proactivity with your oral hygiene practices for yourself, and your younger loved ones.

Modeling Good Brushing Skills for Children

Most little ones give their parents a hard time (at least on occasion) when it comes to brushing teeth at least twice a day. Though they may be well trained to put down the video game controller and march to the bathroom to brush away when you ask them to, are your children actually doing a good job? One of the most common questions dentists hear is something along the lines of: “How can I help my children properly clean their teeth without a struggle?” Kids are incredibly responsive to modeling more than being told what to do. Try making tooth brushing time a family affair. If you’re doing it too, your child might say to themselves, “Hey! If this is something mom and dad do, then I should too!”

Brushing Techniques

Any child under the age of 9-years-old should be using a toothbrush with soft bristles and a toothpaste flavor they like. Encourage your young child to scrub their smile for a minimum of 30 seconds on each quadrant of their upper and lower teeth. This will yield a total of two minutes of brushing time. Many toothbrushes have built in timers. A timer helps make oral hygiene time fun and regimented. Many children respond well to schedules and goals.

Adolescents and teens between 10 and 15-years-old will use the same basic tooth scrubbing techniques which they will hopefully have implemented for years. With more dexterity, they can add circular motions with the bristles of their toothbrush as they brush for the same two minutes, twice a day. This action massages gum tissues which are highly susceptible to periodontal disease.


Dirk A. Newman, DDS, offers a full range of modern dental care services, including general dentistry, smile enhancement, smile restoration, and implant dentistry. To learn more, contact us today to schedule a visit by calling our office at 520-296-5439. Located in Tucson, AZ, we proudly serve patients from Tucson and all surrounding communities.

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