Can Kids Brush Their Teeth Too Much or Too Often?
Having to remind your kid to brush their teeth is a routine that many parents have to experience every morning. Then again, while most kids don’t remember or don’t like brushing their teeth, some overdo it by brushing too much or too often.
Brushing of teeth several times might seem like a good step for your child’s dental health. However, nothing could be further from the truth. As harmless as it might appear to be, too much brushing is actually risky for developing teeth.
So what is the Proper Way to Brush Teeth?
Kid’s dentists recommend the following healthy oral care protocols:
Brush two times a day – The recommended frequency of brushing of teeth for both adults and children is twice every day after meals. Ideally, you should encourage your child to brush their teeth in the morning after breakfast and at night just before bedtime.
Use slow, deliberate strokes – Brushing of teeth is a carefully calculated technique that requires one to brush the fronts, tops, backs, and tongue using slow and deliberate movements.
Brush uninterrupted for two straight minutes – For whatever reasons, we are often in a hurry to brush our teeth. However, the recommended timeframe for each brushing session is 2 minutes straight. Ensure your child brushes their teeth for exactly 2 minutes to avoid over-brushing or under brushing.
Invest in the right kid’s toothbrush – The type of toothbrush your child uses has a bearing on their oral health. You should buy the right toothbrush tailored for kids. Ideally, it should have soft bristles to prevent hurting the gums and causing bleeding. Then again, remember to replace the brush preferably every three months.
Potential Risks of Brushing Too Hard or Too Often
Inadequate brushing can cause several dental health issues such as gum disease, cavities and gingivitis. On the flipside, too much brushing can lead to the following complications:
Tooth Sensitivity – Too much brushing or using a hard brush will gradually remove the enamel (protective coating) of your child’s teeth, leading to increased sensitivity when consuming hot or cold foods.
Gum Sensitivity – Improper and too much brushing can also cause the gums to recede, bleed and become extremely sensitive. Using a hard brush may also harm the soft tissues that form the gums. This will make eating or drinking any food a painful experience for your child.
Nerve Sensitivity – When the gums recede because of overzealous brushing, the nerves underneath become more exposed. This will inevitably lead to nerve sensitivity when consuming anything hot or cold.
How to tell if Your Child is Brushing Too Much or Too Often
One of the best ways to know if your child is over brushing is to monitor their brushing routine. Ideally, your child should not brush more than three times in a day. Moreover, each brushing session should be no more no less than 2 minutes to avoid over and under brushing. Since each child is unique, we recommend you consult a kid’s dentist for professional advice on the most ideal routine tailored for your child.