Please do not take offense to this blog post! I am not trying to insult your intelligence. Most parents know that is important to brush their children’s teeth in the morning after breakfast and before bedtime with fluoridated toothpaste. But what if you did not know it?!? I would be skipping an integral step in your dental knowledge. Whew! Glad I got that off my chest.
Sometimes I get the question, “Do I really need to brush my child’s baby teeth? He/she hates it and the teeth are just going to fall out anyway.” I have the utmost pleasure of having a smart, beautiful, sweet, headstrong two-year-old who, for the majority of her life, hated having her teeth brushed. I do understand survival mode. I do understand when your child falls asleep in the car on the way home and not wanting to wake her from her hard earned sleep to brush her teeth. I also understand the need for goals. Every day, it is my goal to brush my child’s teeth twice a day. I do not always reach my goal, but if I do not reach my goal that day, I always get a fresh start the next day.
The purpose for brushing your teeth is to remove the plaque from the teeth. What is plaque? 70% of plaque is bacteria and the remaining 30% are sugars and proteins that help bacteria stick to your teeth. The next question is: What does plaque do to my teeth? We all have bacteria in our mouths whether we clean our teeth or not. Every time we eat or drink, the bacteria eat and drink. When we eat, our body breaks down the food, keeps the nutrients and gets rid of the waste. Bacteria are the same, but oral bacteria’s waste is in the form of acid. This acid attacks our enamel (outer layer of the tooth) and makes our teeth susceptible to cavities (a hole created by the acid attack).
When is the most important time to brush your teeth? Before bed time. The reason for this is, while we sleep, our saliva production slows down and leaves the teeth unprotected. Our saliva helps rinse away food particles and also contains minerals that protect the teeth. At night time, we need to make sure to brush our teeth to remove the plaque and reduce the acid in the environment since with do not have the saliva protection.