Parent’s involvement in children’s oral hygiene routines [Survey Stats Infographic]
Controversial opinions on when to stop supervising children’s tooth brushing, study reveals
Establishing dental hygiene habits from an early age is vital for good oral health and parents play a key role in this process. Good oral hygiene is fundamental for reducing the risk of tooth decay and it requires guidance and control from parents. Parental involvement in children’s tooth brushing is needed in particular to ensure that routines are performed regularly and properly. However, parental engagement in children’s tooth brushing activities has many aspects as to when to start, how strictly to oversee it, and what is the suitable age to encourage independent performance of routines.
DentaVox recent survey on Children’s Oral Health aimed to look into more detail on the various aspects of parental involvement in children’s oral hygiene. Results indicate that the majority of parents agree children should be reminded daily to brush their teeth. Nevertheless, the age until which children’s tooth brushing should be supervised remains a very controversial question.
Find more insights on the topic in our latest infographic below.
Parents remind children about tooth brushing every day
The majority of respondents confirmed they frequently remind their children to brush teeth. 43.6% of them are occupied with this daily, and additional 19.8% are doing it almost everyday. These practices are in line with the general guidance by dental specialists.
Until what age children should be supervised during tooth brushing?
Survey results indicate that parents are not unanimous about the age until which children should be supervised. One in three parents is in favour of overseeing oral hygiene routines of children over 6 years old. Contrary to this, for 40.3% of parents the age threshold is much lower. 19.8% of them believe children should be supervised up to 3 years of age and additional 20.3% – up to 4-5 years old.
Although there is not a well-established specialist’s opinion on the matter, a common recommendation is that children’s tooth brushing should be monitored by parents at least until the child is 7 years old. That way incorrect or insufficient brushing can be avoided as it may lead to increased risk of tooth decay and cavities. Keeping in mind that childhood routines are the basis for lifetime habits and can have long term consequences on oral health, the survey results call for more awareness on the topic.
Replacement of toothbrush
Most of the parents who participated in the survey are well aware of the recommended time period for replacing a child’s toothbrush – 3 months. Some are even stricter on the term and renew it every month. Although a relatively smaller portion, it is alarming to note that almost a quarter of respondents believe replacement of children’s toothbrush should be after 6 months or longer period.
Over 40% consider adult toothbrushes to be suitable for their kids
Children toothbrushes are designed to be more comfortable and easy to manipulate, and thus to help for a more enjoyable tooth brushing experience. While nearly half of the survey participants are in favour of a toothbrush especially suited to the needs of children, a substantial share of respondents (40%) do not recognize the necessity of it. Apart from the improved experience, parents should consider also the functional benefits of children’s toothbrushes such as softer bristles meant to clean well but not harm the child’s gums.
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