2 Minutes + Twice a Day = No Tooth Decay

Boy washing teethConsidering that most young adults spend less than 35 seconds brushing their teeth, kids, if left to their own devices, would spend 0 to 10 seconds brushing. Children and adults should spend 2 minutes brushing their teeth twice a day followed by flossing.

Tooth decay is the most common chronic childhood disease, 5 times more common than asthma and 7 times more common than hay fever. Left untreated it can lead to systemic infection – affecting sleeping patterns, eating patterns, & the ability to concentrate at school. Oral health affects overall health! The good news is that is preventable!

Plaque is bacterial film that clings to the surface of teeth and, when exposed to sugar, produces acid that erodes tooth enamel and causes cavities. To show your kids how much plaque is on their teeth have them chew a disclosing tablet (available from drug stores or online). Disclosing tablets contain a harmless vegetable dye that will turn plaque red.

Why Kids Need to Brush Their Teeth for 2 Minutes

A tooth has 5 surfaces: front, back, bottom, and 2 sides. A toothbrush will only clean 3 of the 5 surfaces: front, back, and bottom. Floss cleans the 2 remaining sides.

Proper brushing and flossing effectively removes plaque. To do a good job it should take children at least 2 minutes to brush their 20 baby or primary teeth. If it takes 120 seconds to clean 60 surfaces (20 teeth x 3 sides) that’s only 2 seconds per surface!

How to Get Kids to Brush Their Teeth for 2 Minutes

By cleaning your baby’s mouth after every feeding, it makes it much easier to establish good dental hygiene habits. But if your child is fussing about brushing, here are some tips:

  • Let your child choose his/her toothbrush as long as it’s the proper size, small and soft-bristled
  • Children’s toothpaste come in flavors that are more appealing to kids, find one they like. Same with floss
  • Encourage toddlers to take some responsibility and “help” brush, but always with supervision (until they’re at least 6 years old)
  • Have your child hold a mirror while you brush their teeth so he/she can see what is being done
  • Allow your child to brush your teeth. Laugh a lot and make it a fun activity. Then brush theirs
  • Have your child brush their favorite doll’s teeth before you brush his/her teeth
  • Make tooth brushing appear to be a fun activity your child is missing out on. Go to the bathroom eager to brush and floss, laughing and making a lot of noise. Soon your child will realize they are missing out on something fun and will want to join in
  • The most important thing is to set a good example

Using a 2 minute tooth brushing timer, like Twooth® Timer, will help to keep track of the time and make sure that your child is brushing for 2 minutes.

A healthy mouth = a healthy body.

Antoinette de Janasz, The Twooth Fairy, The Twooth Timer Company


About the Author: Antoinette de Janasz is a Mom who struggled to get her kids to brush their teeth. So, she created The Twooth® Timer.

The Twooth® Timer is a tooth-shaped brushing timer that gets kids completely excited to brush their teeth. Your kids simply turn the timer clockwise, start brushing, and then stop when the bell rings after two minutes. Mom after mom comes to me to share how their kids are so excited to use the timer that they literally freaked out with giddiness (in a good way, of course). Even more moms come to me to share stories about how their son or daughter, who gave them a really, really hard time about brushing, now does it happily. No more battles to brush.

Ruby H. Moseley, FizzNiche Staff Writer

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