Many dentists agree that proper toothbrushing takes at least two minutes. Essentially you should divide the mouth into four quadrants and spend 30 seconds on each quadrant of the mouth.
If you don’t brush your teeth long enough, you may not be getting your teeth clean enough, removing every trace of bacteria around the teeth and gumline so that plaque does not build up.
Believe it or not, two minutes can seem like a long time when completing a daily task, especially for little ones who are not known for their long attention spans, so make it fun! Use a timer, many toothbrushes including Brush-Baby have inbuilt timers, or use an egg-timer from the kitchen. For the tech-savvy there are apps on phones, or for those musically-inclined you can sing or play a song to make the two minutes go quicker and retain the interest of the participants!
Timing and length of the toothbrushing routine is important, but there’s no point getting the time right if your brushing technique is not correct, here’s a reminder of how to do it:
- Hold the brush at a 45 degree angle to the tooth
- Brush with short strokes
- Moving the brush back and forth against the teeth and gums using only gentle pressure – if you use too much pressure it can cause abrasion of the enamel and of the gum tissue which can lead to tooth sensitivity.
- Use the toothbrush around the surface of every tooth
- Remember to pay special attention to behind teeth especially at the back of the mouth
And yes… children should floss! Essentially flossing should be carried out as soon as two teeth touch. Look at our FlossBrushes for Children both manual and electric designs – KidzSonic which have flossing bristles, which reach in between teeth, gaps in teeth due to missing or developing teeth and offer a great introduction to the necessity of flossing.