Children Who Learn Healthy Oral Hygiene Habits by Age 12 are 41% More Likely to Have a Healthier Lifespan
SEP 15, 2020 POSTED BY: ATUL SHASTRY
We all know developing long-term sustainable brushing habits early on is very important, especially in our youth. By the age of 12 almost all of our permanent teeth have erupted, meaning we play a huge role in our dental care from a very early age. Additionally, studies suggest that developing and maintaining healthy oral hygiene habits play a tangible part in reducing health risks later in life. Today, we’ll discuss the importance of developing oral health habits for our children early on and how it helps promote a healthier lifestyle long term.
It Starts with Primary Teeth..
Our primary teeth are our first set of teeth that are typically complete by the time we’re 3. The enamel for these teeth less mineralized than the enamel for permanent teeth, making it more susceptible to decays and cavities. Primary teeth helps aid in understanding how to chew, talk and primary teeth are an important cornerstone for developing our linguistics early on. These teeth ensure that our permanent teeth are properly aligned and spaced. It goes without saying that caring for these teeth and instilling good oral health habits from an early age is tantamount for excellent health down the road. In addition to excellent oral care hygiene, a suitable diet (with limited sugar consumption) is just as important for ensuring strong, healthy permanent teeth.
What about permanent teeth?
Although permanent teeth are partially formed in children from ages 0–3, eruption of those teeth happen from age 6 and typically grow until we’re 21. From 6 years old onwards, our mouth contains a mixture of primary and permanent teeth which puts our mouth at an increased risk for tooth decay and cavities. During this time our permanent teeth go through a second maturing phase where it is remineralized, strengthening our permanent teeth against cavities and tooth decay. Again, it’s incredibly crucial that we’re maintaining excellent oral hygiene and health while ensuring that we’re managing our diet and sugar consumption/intake.
As parents, we’re at the forefront of encouraging and teaching our children positive oral health hygiene benefits. For the first 12 years, we are the key to managing our children’s brushing habits as well as ensuring that they’re using a proper technique until their motor skills and cognitive skills are developed to start brushing independently. From age 6 onwards, we should be aware of the fact that primary teeth are starting to erupt in our little ones and make sure to supervise brushing activity, making sure to re-brush hard to reach areas. Additionally, we want to supervise the amount of toothpaste our children are using with the appropriate amount of fluoride. Younger children are at a higher risk of dental fluorosis, because they are more prone to swallow additional amounts of toothpaste. Monitoring their toothpaste intake and using a pea sized amount when they are brushing helps mitigate that risk.
What are the health benefits and risks?
Well, I think we would all universally agree that encouraging sustainable oral health habits from an early age onwards is incredibly important; however, what are the risks of poorer dental hygiene as it pertains to mortality? You can find the published study here: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3124861/
To conclude the results from the findings of this study, this survey sampled men and women with various dental hygiene habits and found the following risk percentages for those groups who demonstrated the following habits:
People who infrequently brush their teeth versus the normal twice per day frequency are 41% more likely (for males) and 91% more likely (for females) to have larger health risks down the road and a higher mortality rate
As parents, we play a huge role in securing our children’s future from a very early age. It’s our role as parents to ensure that we’re encouraging sustainable, long term brushing habits. Our children look up to us to show them the way, and rely on our guidance and direction constantly. At AutoBrush we’re dedicated to guiding parents through these conversations by creating solutions that remove the wars associated with brushing and help kids fall in love with brushing their teeth.