The Tepe Challenge
As a child I was brought up knowing to brush my teeth twice a day, as good oral hygiene gave my teeth good health for life. I then went on to have braces, to straighten my crooked teeth of which gave me more drive to look after the teeth I have. This drive to look after my own teeth I am drumming into my children from a very young age, to give them a good step to their own oral hygiene journey.
With the help of the TePe Challenge they want to encourage families to look after their teeth together, and we were provided with a range of teeth care products to encourage us all to brush our teeth as a family.
Following these easy tips from TePe we got to work on our fortnight challenge.
FAMILY ORAL HEALTH TIPS:
1. Brush as a family – good oral care is learned from our parents – a family that brushes together – keep their teeth together!
2. The last brush at night is the most important brush. At night, we lose the protective and washing effects of the saliva and plaque bacteria left on the teeth will thrive in this environment damaging the gums and the teeth.
3. Ensure that the toothbrush is the right size for the mouth – think small! The smaller the brush head is, the easier it is to access the backs of the mouth and the inside surfaces down by the tongue. Medium to soft filaments are the most effective and least damaging to the teeth and gums.
4. Spit don’t rinse: Fluoride in toothpastes protect the teeth from acid attack and continue to work after brushing has stopped – rinsing out after brushing removes some of the protective fluoride and so just spitting out the excess toothpaste without rinsing with water is encouraged for adults and children. Turn off the tap whilst brushing to discourage rinsing and save water.
5. Children under the age of 7 years lack the manual dexterity to brush effectively for themselves – an adult needs to supervise and assist under 7’s at least once a day in their oral care routine.. You do have to start as you mean to go on. Tooth decay is preventable.
6. Reduce the frequency of sugar in the family diet. Sugar in foods and drinks is difficult to avoid so limit to mealtimes and encourage healthy snacking
7. Snack with low salt, savoury snacks or whole natural fruit and veg. Hydrate with water or unsweetened milk
8. Make sure that you clean for the full 2 minutes – two minutes has been deemed the optimum time to brush the teeth. Clean in four sections upper jaw inside and outside surfaces and lower jaw inside and outside surfaces finishing with the biting surfaces in both top and bottom… a systematic approach to cleaning does help habit formation and helps ensure that you routinely clean all of the mouth.
9. Encourage the use of disclosing tablets for all of the family over the age of 7. Disclosing products simply dye the bacteria on the teeth so that you can see it clearly to remove it. Challenge each other to brush first and then check their brushing by disclosing the mouth after brushing for 2 mins. This helps us to recognise where the plaque sits in the mouth and where we routinely miss with our tooth brush. (The age limit is because most children can be relied upon to spit out at 7 years.. swallowing the food dye is harmless but will cause blue wee!)
10. Tooth brushing alone misses 40% of the tooth surfaces – the surfaces in between the teeth. Most dental disease start in between the teeth and so introducing interdental cleaning in the early teens is a great way to help protect against gum disease. Where the spaces are tight, floss should be used, if the spaces are wide enough, an interdental brush will be easier and more effective than floss. So “the tighter the fit the better the clean, if it don’t fit, don’t force it, floss it”
11. Old habits die hard, teeth die relatively quickly if you don’t look after them.. make effective oral hygiene a good habit to start with.
At the end of our fortnight and I feel we have made a good routine for our future. With the hours ClearlyDaddy works makes it difficult for us all to brush our teeth as a family of 4 but I certainly brush my teeth at the same time as the children which is encouraging a good bond time and also giving the kids better tips for brushing their own teeth.
**This is not a sponsored post, we were provided with a range of TePe products to take part in the Tepe Challenge.