General and Preventive Dentistry Pediatric Dentistry

How often should children brush their teeth?

Children are in active mode from the moment they wake till the time they go back to their
pillows at night. With all of the activity they have going on routinely, often at times they start
cutting corners on certain parts of their health and wellness like brushing their teeth. The daily
bargain by kids of not brushing or only brushing once is usual in every household.

Here are some of the reason why kids don’t prefer to brush or just brush once a day

  • I am too busy in the morning – Mornings are never a very happy moment for kids as they
    are sleepy, have a blur of activity, are busy finishing their breakfast or homework. For
    other children just waking them up and getting them to reach school is itself a big chore.
    But both these kinds of kids have 1 thing in common : they don’t make time to brush their
  • After children get home from school they get busy with their friends, extra curricular
    activities or their school work. Because of this they at times forget to brush their teeth.
  • For some kids, brushing their teeth is a chore. For some reason they just don’t like
    brushing their teeth even a single time.
  • The next category of kids is the ones who say they forgot to brush their teeth. These are
    the kids who don’t mind brushing their teeth but simply need prompting to make
    brushing part of their routine
How Often Should Kids Brush Their Teeth?

When it comes to brushing , the general rule for children is the same as for adults. Twice a day,
first thing in the morning and just before going to bed at night. It is also recommended that every
child brushes their teeth for 2 to 3 minutes every time. Toothpaste is not like soap which will
lather by just applying it. It requires a technique to brush all teeth and remove the debris.

However we understand that it can be quite difficult to get your kids to brush their teeth twice a
day for that long. This is why it is important to make brushing a fun activity for kids. There are
many ways you can encourage your kids to brush their teeth.

Few activities which can be done for children include making a game out of brushing, or giving
them star stickers every time they brush their teeth. Children can also be shown educational
videos on phone or tv to make best use of the time.

The important point here is to start encouraging kids to practice good oral health early so that
these habits last for the rest of their lives. These regular brushing habits prevent children from
dental issues like tooth pain, cavities and plaque accumulation.

It has come to a conclusion that brushing teeth once a day is a poor choice for the health of the
child. So here are the ways in which you can reinforce the habit of brushing twice a day when
your child is hesitant.

  • When the child makes an excuse of being too busy in the morning, assist your child in
    creating a new morning routine which gives them proper time to brush. At the end what
    we need is just an extra 2 minutes for brushing properly. if your child takes those extra 5
    minutes to just snooze the alarm and sleep , give the child some incentive to wake up on
    time which in a way will give them time for brushing too.
  • If the child says they are too busy at night, just before the child goes to bed , make a habit
    of checking their teeth, and you can get involved with the child by crushing them. This
    way children get motivation to complete the task. Just stand in front of the mirror, play
    some songs and do brushing with your child.
  • If the child says they don’t like brushing, allow the child to choose their own toothbrush
    and toothpaste. This gives them ownership of small decisions which will make them
    exciting for brushing.
  • If the child says i frog, help them make a new routine for themselves. Make a visual chart
    and allow them to put stickers on it when they brush their teeth. After they have gained a
    certain number of stars on their chart, give them a fun gift , which itself can reinforce the
    habit and make it a daily routine.

Brushing ideally should take place in the morning after breakfast and in evening after dinner.
Morning brushing habits ensure that their breath is fresh and teeth are properly cleaned. Brushing
at night removes any sugar, acid or excess food from teeth and gums, aiding in good oral health
throughout the night. Pediatric dentists often use the phrase 2 by 2 during preventive visits to
remind children of the number of times they have to brush and for how long brushing is

Click here to know about the Different Brushing Techiniques for Children and how these would help you as parent to ensure your Child’s Dental hygiene is upto mark.

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