Teaching children good oral hygiene is fairly easy. You can make sure you are teaching your child how to brush and floss correctly as well as following up with them after each brush to be sure that they did a good job. Reward them with positive feedback when they do it right and for the correct amount of time. Also be sure that you are diligent in their regular visits to the dentist. This will help to relive the stress of going to the dentist because they are going on a regular basis. Having a regular checkup is much less stressful as opposed to going to the dentist in an emergency situation such as when they have a toothache and require more invasive work. One area of oral hygiene that parents might struggle with is whether or not their child should brush their teeth right after a meal?
Should you Brush After Eating Sugar or Other Foods?
Most people assume that yes; you should head straight to the toothbrush and get to brushing when you finish eating. This is not always true! The types of food you have eaten will determine whether you should brush your teeth right away or wait a minimum of 30 minutes.
Smile Reef has outlined two common food types your child is most likely eating and when you need to brush after eating them.
Brushing Teeth After Eating Carbohydrates and Sugars: If you are having a snack or a dinner that has a lot of carbohydrates and sugar, then you need to hustle to the bathroom to brush your teeth. The carbohydrates and high sugar foods have bacteria that immediately start to attack the enamel on your teeth. They eat away enamel the most after the first 20 minutes after eating. When you go and brush right after you eat these types of foods it kills the bacteria that is causing the enamel to be eaten away.
Brushing After Eating Acidic Foods: These are the kinds of foods such as citrus drinks, salad dressing and soda. The acid in these types of foods actually cause the enamel on your teeth to soften. The enamel can be easily damaged with in the first 30 minutes so you want to stay away from brushing right away. If you are eating these types of foods you want to wait the recommended 30 minutes before you brush to protect the softened enamel. If you know that you are going to be eating foods that are high in acid you may want to actually brush before you eat.