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Teeth have been at the forefront of my mind this week. It started out with the kids brushing theirs or rather, not brushing theirs until I shout like a wild thing, then my own started to both me…

Picture thanks to Ad Writer Child brushing their teeth

Picture thanks to Ad Writer

After a bit of a chat about it – not with them – but with other adults I’ve discovered a few things about getting kids to brush their teeth. Firstly, according to the experts I’m asking a bit too much by asking them to do teeth followed by washing their faces – a five-year-old apparently can not multi-taks (doh) and instructions must be given for one thing at a time.  Secondly, until they are over seven I should also be hovering around the bathroom (forfeiting my own breakfast) to make sure their gnashers are brushed properly. Third option is get up earlier to prevent pre-school chaos…

For those of you, like me, who every now and then need pulling up on the basics of life, like ‘how do you teach a child to brush their own teeth properly?’ Here are some guidelines from the BDA:

1. Start and finish brushing teeth in the same place – when you get back to where you started you know you’ve done the whole mouth.


2. Start at the top with the back teeth and make your way from one side to the other using circular movements.

3. Kids only need to use a pea size amount of flouride toothpaste (not full length of brush with a flick at the end).

4. When you’ve brushed around the front of teeth don’t forget to repeat by doing the inside of the teeth.

5. Children under seven should be supervised with brushing their teeth.

All this studying of kids teeth brushing then got me thinking about my own. For a while now I’ve had quite sore gums but being a bit of a wossie about visiting the dentist I’ve been putting off doing anything about it. It seems, however, that I’m not the only one a bit remiss in this department.

A new study, carried out by Colgate Gum Health found that only 2% of those surveyed would go to the dentist if their gums had been bleeding. Furthermore and rather worringly, up to half the UK’s population are not brushing their teeth twice a day. Tutt tutt. The worst offenders are people from the West Midlands, with only 50% brushing the advised twice a day. Londoners aren’t much better either with 43% admitting to only brushing once a day.

If you are like me and are brushing twice a day but are not getting the best results you could  try the colgate proclinical electric toothbrush.  I’ve just watched a clip about it and the clever gizmo automatically tilts to get to hard to reach bits (the gums) and adjusts brushing speed to make sure it’s getting rid of plaque – for example, it gives extra quick scrubs to your molars. It sounds like the the best toothbrush for me as at least I’ll know they’re being done properly – if only I could get an electronic device that got the kids brushing their teeth of a morning I’d be a very happy Mummy indeed!

PS: Someone told me the best way to get their kids brushing in the morning was to bring their toothbrushes down in the kitchen so you can eat your toast and watch them at the same time… Do you have any brushing teeth tips?


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