Life-long dental care begins while we are still babies
The correct care begins with the first baby tooth. It may seem to you to be a bit of an exaggeration to be brushing baby teeth, but the truth is that the sooner the babies get used to it, the more natural it will seem to them later in life. Parents should remember that preventive checks are recommended from the age of one and baby teeth should be checked twice each year.
With the smallest babies, the first teeth are brushed with a special brush attached to a finger. Approximately at the age when the baby has 8 baby teeth (usually four at the top and four at the bottom), roughly around 9 months of their life, the first real brush is used. “It should have several qualities: it has to have the smallest brush head possible, the fibers should be cut straight and soft. Some brushes have protectors to make sure the parent does not accidently slide the brush into the baby’s throat”, explains our stomatologists MDDr. Zdeněk William Pelc.
When children are in kindergarten, they learn to brush their teeth by themselves, ideally by imitating their parents, who show them how they brush their teeth. Toothpaste should not be used until the children learn to correctly spit it out, alternatively using toothpastes that do not include fluoride. It is important to help the children clean their teeth if necessary – ensuring that they clean their teeth for at least two minutes – this applies to children prior to going to school, but also to small school children (further cleaning by parents is recommended until the age of eight or nine).
What about sweets and tooth decay (dental caries, cavities) in children?
“As far as sweets are concerned, it does not matter whether a child eats one piece of chocolate or the entire chocolate bar. If the child eats the chocolate within 15 minutes and then washes the mouth followed by brushing the teeth, the teeth will remain healthy. However, when consumption takes place throughout the day, the pH of the mouth remains low. The saliva will be unable to balance it out and the teeth will be prone to decay” explains CMC’s MDDr. Zdeněk William Pelc.
How to correctly brush the teeth between age 6 to 18
The brush fibers are not applied directly to the tooth, but at a 45% angle. Half the fibers should be cleaning the tooth and the other half the gum groove, massaging it at the same time. With small children, we recommend cleaning the teeth in a circular motion. With older children and adults, we recommend a vibrating motion around the gum followed by a smear motion – with bottom teeth from the pink to the white (upwards) and with the top teeth from the pink to the white (downwards). Ideally, each cleaning should take three minutes and should be systematic – for example beginning at the top-right each time from the inside and continuing towards the left, then from the front left, followed by doing the same towards the right, etc. The teeth should be brushed in the morning and night using toothpaste. Children should use dental floss each night as well. Adults however, should use both dental floss and interdental brushes, possibly even brushing after each meal (without toothpaste).
How to correctly brush teeth in adulthood
The rules are the same as with older children: adults should brush their teeth twice a day with toothpaste, possibly after each meal without toothpaste. They should visit dentists regularly two times a year and undergo dental hygiene if possible. It is also important to clean the teeth with dental floss and interdental brushes every evening. Eating habits may also need to be amended. The rule of thumb here is as follows: the smaller the amount of carbohydrates (sugars) and sour foods, the better for the teeth.