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Teeth & Toothbrushing

Older Children And Teenager's Teeth

From the age of around seven most children will be able to clean their teeth without supervision. They are still likely to need you to remind them and check that they are spending enough time and effort on their routine.

These good habits will mean that caring for their teeth is part of their daily routine and be more likely to continue to do so as they become teenagers.

A teenager who has always been in the habit of caring for their teeth is likely to continue to do so as they get older.

Have a look at the videos and tabs below for more information on keeping the mouths and teeth of older children and teenagers healthy.

Dive Deeper

Top Tips Video - Teeth Cleaning for Children Over 7 years

Top Tips Video - Teenage Oral Health

Reluctant Brushers

As children get older they can begin to push boundaries and may not always follow the rules. Although this is very normal It is important to watch out for it so that good tooth care habits continue.

If you think your child might not be brushing their teeth try not to get into an argument about it. You could try being ‘around the bathroom’ when they should be brushing. Let them know you have noticed by saying ‘Are we out of toothpaste? I’ve not heard you brush.’

If it becomes a regular issue;

  • Ask your child if there is something that is getting in the way of them caring for their teeth; Do they run out of time? Don’t they like the toothpaste? Do they forget?
  • Think of ways they could remind themselves; try setting alarms on a phone, silly notes left above the sink.
  • New toothbrushes, toothpaste and mouthwash can renew enthusiasm.
  • Stop buying any sweeter treats and drinks – explain this is because you cannot be sure they are cleaning their teeth properly.

If you are worried call ahead to your dental practice before the next appointment. They may be able to point out to your child the impact not brushing is having on their teeth. They may be able to show them images of tooth decay.

Flossing and Interdental Care

As children get older they should be more able to keep the surfaces in between their teeth clean.  Flossing and interdental brushes can be used as they remove plaque and food debris between teeth which can cause decay and gum disease.

This video will show you how to floss.

Your dental team can give you advice on this too.

Other Useful Information

Who can Help?

You can contact the Healthy Child Programme by calling Just One Number on 0300 300 0123 or texting Parentline on 07520631590. Our opening hours are 8am-6pm Monday-Friday (excluding bank holidays) and 9am-1pm on Saturdays.

If you are 11-19 you can text ChatHealth on 07480635060 for confidential advice from one of our team.

To speak to other Norfolk parents and carers, you can join our online community forum below. 

 

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