12 myths about oral hygiene

oral hygiene

Cleaning teeth is quite common thing we used to do every day. However when we forget about this activity great number of quite unpleasant problems arise at once. Thus there is a real need to getting this habit in the early childhood. This and many other questions related to the teeth cleaning are considered in the article below. 

“Teeth are to be cared since the childhood. In this case children grow healthy, merry, good-looking and get more chances in their lives”.
George Eastman

Such common action as teeth cleaning causes too many various questions and controversy. In case you care about your teeth in a wrong way then your children clean their teeth also in the wrong way as they are trying to imitate parents. And it would be quite complicated for them to learn again the procedure of the teeth cleaning.

This article won’t cease the problem of the “contaminated teeth” and caries instantly. However in case I’ll manage to answer several questions concerning oral hygiene and dispel several most popular myths about teeth cleaning then the task should be concerned to be implemented.


The first, the biggest and most scary myth: “There is no need to clean milky teeth!”

There is such need, and there do exist such need! First of all milky teeth have no protection against caries and the best way of its prophylaxis is the ideal individual oral hygiene, in other words fine and correct teeth cleaning. Secondly, failed to inure the child to clean teeth since the early childhood it would be considerably complicated to do this later. The child should accept the teeth cleaning just as nutrition before he reached the conscious age. And don’t forget that the child imitates the parents in every detail thus you should turn to be an illustration for your child even in such uneasy job as teeth cleaning.

The teeth need care since the very moment of their appearance. The first teeth erupted should be cleaned with the silicon brush that is put on the adult’s finger. And since 8-10 month it is possible to use the smallest tooth-brush. There are even special tooth-brushes for babies with thick handle (this makes it easier to hold it in the small fist). They are bright with the rattle in the handle that makes noise in case teeth are cleaned in the proper way.

Myth 2: “No matter how you clean teeth, the cleaning itself is the essentials”

The teeth are to be cleaned properly. You may need 5 minutes to clean teeth but they will still remain dirty. How does it happen? The matter is that food remains stick to the teeth strongly and certain efforts are needed to get rid of them. You have to clean teeth as if you are sweeping them. The upper teeth should be cleaned with sweeping top-down motions (in order the gum don’t become cluttered with the filth and the last one being swept out). And the lower teeth should be cleaned with down-top motions. Furthermore you shouldn’t forget about the internal teeth surface that is more difficult to clean than the external one. In the end of the cleaning you should the chewing surface of all teeth. The lateral teeth surfaces should also be cleaned. To provide this there are special teeth threads – flosses.

Myth 3: “Any tooth paste will be right for the child”

First of all, there are many medicinal toothpastes intended for use specially in adults (such pastes have increased fluorine contents, they whiten teeth, cure periodontosis). These toothpastes are flatly not convenient to use in children. Secondly, child’s toothpastes are less abrasive and contain less fluorine thus the child needs in its own child’s toothpaste. These are specially intended for milk-tooth and recently erupted ones that has no “mature” enamel. Such toothpaste implies the possibility of the swallowing certain part of it by the child. Thus children are recommended to use child’s toothpastes that are low abrasive ones. Furthermore it is also advised to use firstly gel toothpastes and only then turn to apply common child’s toothpastes.

Myth 4: “The child will clean teeth even in case his parents don’t do this”

In case you didn’t clean your teeth properly before your child was born then you strictly have to learn correct teeth cleaning together with your baby. Teeth cleaning should become the real ceremony, something like “traditional family dinner” that doesn’t even imply any possibility of missing or changing, only new members of the ceremony may be added. The matter is that children imitate their parents in everything. So become the good example for you baby: clean teeth together with him at least twice a day – after the breakfast and before going to sleep. And according to the golden rule you have to clean teeth after every food intake.

Myth 5: “The child may clean teeth on his own”

A little child may pass a toothbrush over its teeth however parents have to provide their child with the proper care he or she is still unable to do. Step by step children learn to do all the movements and you shouldn’t hasten this process to avoid certain complicity for the child and prevent any possibility of teeth cleaning dislike. Dentists recommend parents to take active part in their children teeth cleaning up to child’s age of 7 years. After this age parents may take only passive part in this process. It is also strongly recommended to look after the teenagers when they clean teeth.

Myth 6: “Child’s toothbrushes should be made of the natural bristle”

Natural bristle may accumulate a lot of microorganisms that are impossible to delete with simple brush washing with the water spurt. Furthermore it is impossible to work up the bristle so it wouldn’t hurt the gum (the artificial bristle are rounded shape). The progress of the modern techniques made the use of the natural bristle toothbrushes out of date. Dentists recommend adults as well as children to use artificial bristle toothbrushes today.

Myth 7: “The larger is the brush the better it cleans teeth”

Large toothbrush doesn’t match everyone not to mention the fact that it is even quite difficult to move it. A small brush makes it possible to clean all teeth surfaces. Even adults are recommended toothbrushes with small heads that correspond to the 1,5-2 teeth size.

Myth 8: “Children may clean teeth with electric toothbrushes”

Don’t forget about the fact that children teeth enamel is not firm enough and the strong impact of the electric brush may damage the immature tooth enamel. In case you’ll purchase electric toothbrush for your child he or she will be really glad. In case the child doesn’t consider teeth cleaning as something common then the electric brush will not help. The joy will pass away and the electric brush will be placed next to the common one and they will be both left neglected. This is the first matter.

Secondly – it is possible to learn the child to clean teeth with the common toothbrush only in the childhood, in case the time is missed then it will be useless in the future. Indeed we teach our children to draw with the pencil though we may teach them to draw and type on the PC. The third matter, teeth cleaning with the common toothbrush develops certain manual skills in the child. And it is well known that the child’s mind is located on the finger-tips. Thus the teeth cleaning with the simple toothbrush will be additional mind exercises. There are special children attachments for electric toothbrushes however children shouldn’t use them up to 8-12 years of the age.

Myth 9: “Chewing gum may be a substitute to the teeth cleaning”

Never!!! Chewing gum is an additional mean of oral cavity hygiene. It may be used in case there is no other possibility of cleaning teeth. It is possible to chew it only after the meal (but never instead of it…) within 5-10 minutes. While chewing it for a longer period of time it looses all benefits and turns into a real damage for the organism. However this is a topic for a separate article.

Myth 10: “Fluorine rinsers may be a substitute to the teeth cleaning”

Teeth cleaning – is nothing but mechanical removal of the teeth deposit and debris. That is why tooth brush and teeth cleaning correspondingly are unable to substitute by anything else. Rinsers – are only additional means of oral cavity hygiene that are applied after the teeth cleaning. Children below 6-7 years of the age shouldn’t apply them at all as rinsers contain a lot of fluorine and moreover they are quite tasty thus it is almost impossible to avoid intake of the fluorine excesses into the child’s body. The fluorine excesses is unhealthy not only for the teeth but for the children’s bones as well. Thus the use of the hygiene means including toothpastes with fluorine should be initially discussed with the dentist and then strictly monitored by the adults.

Myth 11: “Toothbrushes should be doused with boiling water before the first use”

The materials the toothbrushes are made of today are not intended for the handling by high temperature. In case you will boil toothbrush thoroughly you’d better purchase a new one at once. The toothbrush should be simply washed with flowing water before the first use. And of course the toothbrush purchased should be in the hermetic factory package. As for the keeping toothbrushes it advised to keep them in the dry glass with its head on the top. Small toothbrush placed in the glass with the adult’s toothbrushes will be something you child will be proud for.

Myth 12: “There is should be a lot of toothpaste on the brush”

Don’t forget that teeth are cleaned by the brush and not the paste. The paste only helps to clean and refresh oral cavity with certain antibacterial, deodorizing and other supplements, it also makes teeth cleaning more pleasant procedure. In case you use too much toothpaste it will foam a lot and only be an obstacle for teeth cleaning. And the number of active materials the paste includes will be too high. The required volume of the toothpaste shouldn’t increase the big pea size and in case we consider children – then it shouldn’t be larger a small pea size.

So: 1. Start cleaning teeth as soon as they appear. Firstly we use silicon brush that is placed on the adult’s finger, and as the child is over 10 months we purchase special child’s toothbrush.
2. Clean teeth after every meal. It is obligatory to clean teeth in the morning after the breakfast and in the evening before going to sleep.
3. Clean teeth together with your child. This will help you to monitor him and show him an example to follow.
4. Don’t forget to change toothbrush at least once in a three month. Each season should be accompanied with new brush.

We wish you beautiful and happy children’s smiles!

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