How to teach children an oral hygiene routine

Oral hygiene in children turns out to be “Cinderella” of good health practice: from a very recent survey conducted by Key-Stone for Curasept, a leading Italian company in oral care, it turns out that for 39% of dental hygienists, the situation is for oral care. pediatric care has deteriorated over the past two years.

“From the data we have received, a picture emerges of a lack of awareness of how proper prevention can benefit overall well-being” Paola Della Bruna, Scientific & Clinical Affairs Manager at Curase “Research has highlighted how the deterioration of attention to oral health in children is not a factor linked so much to the pandemic phase, but to more structural factors. That is why we at Curasept are committed and will engage in new projects to increase families’ knowledge and sensitivity to a topic that has concrete health effects, also with practical support projects ”.

According to experts, the deterioration that occurred during this two-year period is due to a number of reasons, among which sporadic or unconsolidated hygiene habits have a particular influence, a relevant or very relevant factor for 98% of the interviewees.

Another crucial element is improper use of chemical and mechanical tools for hygiene of teeth starting with toothbrush and toothpaste, is considered a major cause by 96%. Also on the quay is the abundant consumption of sugary foods and cariginal foods: factors considered relevant or very relevant by 91% of the interviewees.

There pandemic played an important role, resulting in a reduction or cancellation of visits and professional hygiene sessions, while the effect of the masks results in less attention among the causes of the deficiency for oral hygiene .

“The positive thing that we can dare to read the data is that together we can do a lot to improve habits and encourage the introduction of greater knowledge and regularity. in the oral domicile: On this front, we as a company have been and will be even more active, ”states Della Bruna.

Summer vacation: the right time to catch up on lost time

Summer vacations, at the end of school commitments, can be a favorable phase for reintroducing or strengthening hygiene habits at a time when children they are less pressured by commitments, schedules and deadlines. If suggested in a playful way, the activities to take care of teeth they can stay in the routine longer and without too much stress.

Summer: an opportunity to fill up with “friendly food”!

While it is well known that foods rich in sugar are enemies of teeth as the bacteria responsible for cavities in the teeth live off sugars, it is perhaps less well known that excellent allies against cavities can be found in fruits and vegetables. Especially in summer, the consumption of non-acidic fruits such as watermelon, melon, peach and apricot should be promoted – foods that are often appreciated by children – crispy vegetables to munch on as a fresh snack (for example carrot and pepper), but also dried fruit, yoghurt and milk. These foods are considered acaryogenic and can therefore be consumed in complete calm (always if they are not added sugar).

How to teach children an oral hygiene routine?

The moment oral hygiene it does not have to be boring: routine yes, but with a little fun! Green light therefore for the choice of a good quality toothbrush, with the size that suits the child’s age and mouth, perhaps colored and chosen by the child himself, to encourage it to wash teeth (and remember to change it every 3-4 months), accompanied by a toothpaste with a taste to your liking.

To encourage a proper duration of brushing, you can listen to a song among his favorites that lasts about two minutes: the cleaning must not be finished before the end of the music.

Moreover, the logic of the prize is often to win. You can put a colored board up in the bathroom, on which the child can mark and draw each time it has completed the “tooth mission” (twice daily for two minutes): at the end of e.g. a whole month will receive a fair reward for commitment!

Finally go ahead with example and wash teeth together is a great way to establish and maintain healthy habits.

From what age and how to brush children’s teeth

First of all, it is important to know that, as stated by the WHO (World Health Organization), numerous studies have for some time already shown that the health of the oral cavity is linked to the general state of health. Oral diseases – such as periodontitis, a contagious bacterial disease that affects the supporting tissues of the teeth and can cause them to fall out – are not local but systemic and are associated with other organic diseases such as diabetes, cardiovascular and gastrointestinal diseases. For this reason, it is important to acquire healthy habits from an early age, which will then consolidate with adolescence.

• When to start brushing children’s teeth

It is recommended to clean the mucous membranes in newborn even before the appearance of the first teeth, after breastfeeding. Simply use a sterile gauze wrapped around your finger to gently pass over the baby’s gums.

From the appearance of the first tooth, about 6-8 months, parents should use a toothbrush of special size with very soft bristles and a minimum amount of toothpaste, equivalent to a grain of rice, and perform the correct oral hygiene maneuvers.

ONE fluoride toothpaste.

To deal with the pain due to the birth of the teeth, there are special bites and gels that provide relief; also in this case it is advisable that they are sugar free, preferably with natural ingredients.

From 3 years onwards, the amount of toothpaste can be increased by reaching the maximum dose, which is the size of a pea. From 3 years in children can wash in teeth alone, with specific brushes 3-6 years, but monitoring an adult is useful to verify the correctness of the maneuvers until they are completely independent.

It should also be remembered that the first dental visit should be performed around 18/24 months.

• How to brush children’s teeth

Once the child is able to hold the toothbrush, it can even begin to brush its teeth with small circular motions. For children who have greater control over manual skills (usually around 5-6 years), the ideal technique is to brush teeth from gum to tooth.

If the parent washes teeth of the child, for maximum safety and efficiency, it is strongly recommended that the child rests his head and uses good lighting. It is also important to brush the margins between the tooth and the gums by tilting the brush approx. 45 °.

When the child is able to spit, the mouthwash, which completes, can be introduced oral hygiene daily.

Oral hygiene with toothbrush and toothpaste should be performed at least twice a day: in the morning and certainly before going to bed in the evening, each time the cleaning session should last at least two minutes. Even dental floss should become part of the routine of the little ones as soon as the dentist allows it, because only with the dental floss is it possible to remove the bacterial plaque from the areas that the toothbrush cannot reach.

• How to choose products based on age

When choosing the most suitable products, it is necessary to keep in mind the different needs of children in different age groups. Throughout the period of dental disease, from 6-8 months, it can be a relief to use the bite and use a special gel based on natural ingredients to relieve irritated muscles.

From six months, the national guidelines for oral health promotion say that fluoroprophylaxis can be done using toothpaste that contains at least 1000 ppm fluoride. It is also advisable to pay attention to the abrasive power of the toothpaste: since the mole children the enamel of teeth deciduous has a reduced thickness, a lower hardness and greater permeability, toothpastes with low RDA (Relative Dentin Abrasivity) are recommended – there are some with RDA lower than 30 – just so as not to damage the enamel, which protects teeth from cariogenic agents.

“In terms of the effectiveness of the preventive effect of caries and the reduction of previous caries lesions,” notes Paola Della Bruna “a clinical study was conducted on over 600 children at 4-5 and 6-7 years, which clearly showed how a toothpaste containing BIOACTIVE COMPLEX and fluorinated hydroxyapatite is more effective than traditional fluoride toothpaste, both for prevention and treatment “.

Curasept in schools to increase sensitivity and knowledge in children

During the just concluded school year, Curasept, which has always been committed to promoting children’s oral health, has taken steps to gain greater knowledge about when and how to exercise. oral hygiene. Thanks to the partnership with, an online community of dental hygienists has nearly 2,300 children of primary schools participated in the educational workshops held by experts and received the Curasept set for oral hygiene home care in addition to information material, also useful for mom and dad.

“We are happy to support training and information activities,” comments Paola Della Bruna. “We intend to continue with these workshops also in the next school year, to become increasingly active on the dissemination front, but we also have projects in the pipeline to provide concrete help to families and provide greater access to primary dental care in pediatrics. “.

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