Father and son brushing teeth together in the bathroom

Oral Aids for Strong Teeth

Every teenager wants a bright, sparkling smile. To get one, they’ll need to take care of their oral health. This is where you as a parent can help. By giving your teenager the right tools to take care of their oral health, you’ll be guiding them towards a lifetime of strong teeth and healthy gums.

But with so many oral aids to choose from, you’ve probably got some questions. Like, is an electric toothbrush better than a manual one? What type of toothbrush fits my child? Do kids really need to floss? What on earth is an interdental brush?

Okay, so they’re not everyday questions, but finding the right answers can really keep your teenager’s teeth in tip-top shape.

So how do you select a suitable toothbrush for your teenager? Here are some tips:

  • Select a brush with soft bristles, so that it’s gentle on gums.
  • The head of the brush should not be too big. A brush with a big head will not be able to reach the back corners of the mouth.

Do remind your teens to change their toothbrush every 2 – 3 months, or sooner if it’s frayed. A worn-out toothbrush is less effective in cleaning the teeth and gums and may injure the gums.

Related: Dental Check-ups for Teens

Electric vs Manual, Which is Better?

Different types of toothbrushes

The answer to this one really boils down to preference and the way a person brushes. What’s more important is to use proper brushing techniques: Short brushing strokes, moving back and forth against the teeth and gums, around the surface of every tooth. To be effective, brush for at least 2-3 minutes.

Related: 6 Tips to Make Brushing Teeth Fun for Kids!​​

What’s an Interdental Brush?

Woman using an interdental brush

If your teen is having trouble with plaque or food collecting between their teeth, a dentist may recommend an interdental brush. Interdental brushes have small bristled heads specially designed to clean between teeth – kind of like a toothpick but much more effective.

Related: Help Your Child Smile for Life

What Toothpaste Works Best?

Toothbrush with toothpaste laid on a towel

A toothpaste with fluoride is important, because fluoride helps prevent cavities (tooth decay) by strengthening teeth. If your teen has sensitive teeth or gums, you can also look for a toothpaste with extra desensitising ingredients.

Do Teens Really Need to Floss?'

Young girl using dental floss

The truth is flossing is the best way to remove trapped food and dental plaque from in-between teeth. A toothbrush just can’t reach all those tight spaces between teeth or areas under the gumline.

Your teens may find flossing troublesome and difficult to learn, but once they get used to it, it’s as easy as brushing.

If you want to know more about proper oral care for your teenager, consult a dental professional to find out more about these oral hygiene aids and practices.

Related: Student Health Centre & School Dental Centre


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