120 seconds or two minutes can feel like a lifetime for adults, let alone children! Nevertheless, it’s the universally recommended time for brushing our teeth.
Trying to explain to your little ones why it’s so important is another hurdle some of us just don’t want to face as parents. Fortunately, there are some helpful ways to get your children involved in their toothbrushing journey.
Want to know why brushing your teeth for two minutes is advised? Read on to see why that timescale is so important.
The ‘magic’ two minutes
For most of us, two minutes may feel like a randomly plucked time out of thin air! But research shows that brushing your teeth for two minutes twice a day can boost your oral health.
After decades of medical review, it turns out that brushing your teeth for anything less than two minutes twice a day, is consistently associated with tooth decay. So leaving that sticky, bacteria-laden film on your teeth - AKA plaque - can lead to many trips to the dentist and possibly a whole heap of pain!
While plaque eats away at your enamel, your teeth and gums are more likely to get infected would could lead to gingivitis. Later down the line, you may also have to face gum disease (periodontitis). Yuck!
Anything less than two minutes…
Considering there are 1,440 minutes in a day, using four minutes of it to brush your teeth isn’t a huge sacrifice! Now your little one’s day will look a lot different to yours in the grand scheme of things, but what are four minutes out of it really?
In two minutes, you will:
- Brush each tooth surface, back and front - when your little one’s milk teeth are all in position, that’s just 20 teeth!
- Remove sugars and food debris that can cause nasty bacteria to grow
- Get into the hard to reach places - inner cheeks, back teeth and sides of the molars closest to the tongue
- Protect and strengthen enamel - make sure you use the right toothpaste for your child’s age group
- Prevent plaque from turning into hard, sticky tar
- Encourage good oral health for strong teeth and healthy gums!
That’s quite a lot in just two minutes! Now think about the potential damage which could be caused when those two minutes are left out of your day. Not worth thinking about, is it?
How to get your children excited about toothbrushing
Toddlers’ tantrums and unco-operative tots are all part of a developing child’s learning journey. Fresh out of the womb, your newborn has to adjust quickly to a brand new world full of bright lights and strange sensations. Fast forward to your growing toddler - they have to figure out what all these new emotions are and take on concepts that would hurt an adult brain too!
No-one knows your child better than you. From the moment they are born, to them flying the nest, you get to watch and experience everything.
Getting your little one excited about toothbrushing is all part of your child’s natural development. Here are a few ideas to get you started:
Make bathtime fun!
A window into another world, bathtime is one of the most joyous things in our household. There, my little girl’s imagination thrives. She becomes a diver seeking treasure or has to rescue her ducks from pirates! So, why not make toothbrushing a part of that too?
The more familiar your child is with toothbrushing early on, the happier they will be to do by themselves later on.. From flashing lights and colourful, bright characters - your little one’s toothbrush is all part of the fun!
“Monkey see, monkey do” is an often spoken phrase in my home. Watching me brush my teeth, and even letting my little girl do it for me (with guidance!) has inspired her to brush her teeth too. There’s no better way to get your little ones excited about toothbrushing than you taking the lead.
Hey Duggee is not only a delightful show for children, but it’s also great for us adults too! From earning a Toothbrushing badge with Duggee’s squirrels, to learning why brushing your teeth stops stinky breath, there’s a lot to love.
Instilling a love of reading in your infant is all part of their development and understanding of the world. While listening to a story or reading themselves, your child’s comprehension of concepts, feelings and culture, is stimulated. Now think of the potential there for including toothbrushing! Either make up a story yourself or have a look at the wonderful world of tooth-related books!
From Peppa Pig to Biff and Chip, many books are available which have been specifically designed to inspire your children to brush their teeth!
Are you up for the challenge? Getting your little ones excited about toothbrushing has never been more straightforward or fun!