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5 Signs That Your Child is Not Brushing

You send your children into the bathroom first thing in the morning and last thing at night to brush their teeth and shower in order to prepare for the day or night ahead. The problem is that we are usually so busy with our own chores that we cannot stand there and watch what they are doing every single minute of the day, leaving us little choice but to trust that they are doing what they should be.

Woman and young girl in bathroom brushing teeth

Children in many cases do not understand the importance of good hygiene and find the act of keeping clean more of a chore than anything else. They will try to get out of it through any means possible or simply lie through their teeth when asked if they have done what was asked of them in the bathroom.

They do not seem to understand that trips to the dentist are going to become far more frequent if they do not take the time out to take good care of their teeth. The funny thing is that they all obviously hate going to the dentist, yet they are unable to make the correlation that clean teeth equates to less pain.

Children don’t realize that not taking good care of their teeth will come back to haunt them one day, through regular toothaches, painful dental treatments, unattractive teeth and high dental expenses.

Take a look at five quick and easy ways to tell if you children are brushing their teeth. Some may seem obvious but we are sure there is something here that will help all parents in their quest to teaching their children about the importance of personal hygiene.

  • Their Toothbrush Is Dry

If your child is brushing as they say they are, then a quick check of their toothbrush afterwards should reveal their toothbrush to be wet. There is absolutely no way that the brush would be able to dry within a few minutes. Make sure you check their toothbrush both day and night to ensure that they are brushing while they are in the bathroom at least twice daily.

  • They Still Have Food In Their Teeth After Allegedly Brushing

Rather than just asking “did you brush your teeth?” and getting the standard “yes mum” as a reply, get a bit more confirmation by asking for a quick smile. You should be able to tell straight away if they are telling the truth as you will quickly see any bits of food stuck between their teeth. Even if they have brushed, they have not done it properly, there should be no food stuck in their teeth after brushing.

  • Ask For The Squeak Test

Another great way to both test to see if your children are brushing their teeth and to annoy them into doing so in the future, is to ask them to do what is known as the squeak test. They need to wet their finger and then proceed to quickly rub it across their teeth. This should be done on both the inside and outside and should result in a squeak if the teeth are in fact clean. If not, it is back to the bathroom for them.

  • Bad Breath

Bad breath is a sure sign that the child’s teeth have not been brushed recently, so although it may not be pleasant for you, just ask them to breath onto your face. You will soon know if they have cleaned their teeth as any rotting food left in the teeth will cause bad breath. Ask them to smell their own breath too, so they can see what other people will smell when they talk. This might be enough to convince them that perhaps it really is better to brush properly.

  • Your Child Suffers With Toothaches

Does your child suffer with regular toothaches? Then that is a clear sign that they are not looking after their teeth as they should be. Let them know that toothaches are the result of them not brushing their teeth day and night. Hopefully the pain will encourage them to perhaps try not avoiding brushing. On a more serious note, regular toothaches are usually due to an underlying cause such as cavities, so a quick trip to your dentist from Santa Ana is highly recommended.

To Summarize

All of these tips will let you know the truth about your children’s dental habits and they may also help to annoy the children so much that they actually start heeding your instructions. Nagging them long enough may finally get it through to them, though even if they seem to have changed, continue to check on them anyway.

Children should be encouraged to brush their own teeth as early an age as possible, even just after they have learned to walk. Try to make it into a fun experience for them. The younger they learn, the quicker it will become part of their daily routine and not something to hide away from. Also, ask your Santa Ana Dentist to show them pictures of older people with bad teeth, so that they can see what they might look like if they do not brush their teeth at least twice a day.

As a final note, never sway from getting on their backs about their teeth. As parents it is our responsibility to educate our children as best as possible, so avoid assuming that they will learn one day. If you show that you do not really care if they clean their teeth, it will lead them to feel the same way. 


Santa Ana Dentist