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Since we typically learn how to brush our teeth at around age 5, many of us think we have our brushing skills down to a science. However, it may surprise you to learn that you’ve been brushing your teeth the wrong way for all these years; and that you may be passing these lessons down to your children as well!
Most people brush the same way – in a back and forth motion across the teeth until they feel slippery and clean. You may feel like the harder and more quickly you brush your child’s teeth, the faster they’ll be clean and then you can go about your day.
The reality is that the back and forth motion typically used by most people actually weakens your tooth enamel. This motion is quite damaging to both your child’s gums and teeth and can prematurely age the teeth. Additionally, the weakening of tooth enamel will eventually cause your child’s teeth to become overly sensitive and more vulnerable to dental cavities.
The proper way to brush your child’s teeth is so easy that you may not feel that it’s effective. First, put the toothbrush over the teeth and begin to wiggle it back and forth in a circular motion, making sure that the bristles of the brush cover each tooth, including the sides. This will allow the bristles to find their way between the teeth. Perform this method until each tooth in your child’s mouth has been cleaned.
Additionally, try not to brush too hard or vigorously, as this can cause problems for tooth enamel and gum tissue. Be gentle, we promise it will still be effective.