Bottle tooth decay is not the end of the world. Luckily, while your child is still young enough to experience bottle tooth decay, they have their baby teeth, and are not experiencing any lasting damage. It is important to teach kids early about dental and oral hygiene, and the best techniques is just to work in proper procedures as a part of everyday life, rather than trying to scare your children.
- The Importance of Oral Hygiene
- How To Brush Teeth Correctly
- When To Brush Teeth
This needs to be stressed as much to adults as it is to children. Sure, you can use scare tactics like pictures of cavities in teeth, but they only go so far. Talking logistics, procedures, and monetary repercussions may actually have much more of an effect on adults who need that additional push into taking proper care of their mouths.
Oral hygiene for kids is a different story. Scare tactics may work on some. Pictures of bottle tooth decay could be enough to scare them into keeping their teeth properly cleaned, but they can get just as complacent as adults about it. When it is an everyday thing, it is difficult for it not to fall to the back of the mind. Rather than scaring and scolding, a game or a procedure could actually be much more useful.
Some electric toothbrushes have built-in timers, but using a simple egg timer or refrigerator timer can also do the trick. Everyone, young and old, should be brushing their teeth for two minutes straight. Two minutes can be broken into four sections of 30 seconds, and you can break your teeth into four quadrants: upper and lower left side, upper and lower right side.
Each quadrant should get a full 30 seconds worth of attention, never moving on to the next quadrant until that 30 seconds is up. And always start in a different quadrant every time. As we brush, we have a tendency to get sloppier over the two minutes. If you start in the same quadrant every time, that one will be well-brushed and shiny, while the last quadrant brushed every time will suffer from the ennui of one and a half minutes of prior brushing.
You should brush your teeth at least twice a day. Once in the morning, before eating anything. And once at night, just before bed. If you can manage it, brushing a third time right after lunch would be ideal. But no more, because you can actually over-brush, which could lead to damaging the gums. And if you are a flosser (which you should be), flossing before the lunch brush and before the bedtime brush are the ideal times.
It is a simple process, and can be turned into a daily routine as part of your morning and evening ablutions. Unfortunately, because it is so simple an act, people have a tendency to pay less and less attention to it until they end up going to the dentist with a cavity.
Dental health is one of the few things that you cannot lag on, because you can never go back and grow another. The damage done to your mouth is done, and cannot be reversed. Remember that the next time you do not want to floss.