What Happens To Kids Who Don’t Brush Their Teeth?

We are well aware of the importance of brushing, as we know that our smile has a value to keep. But what happens to kids who don’t brush their teeth? Have you ever thought of this?

So, here let us now understand what happens to kids who don’t brush their teeth and know how to persuade those kids.

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1. What Happens to Kids Who Don’t Brush Their Teeth?

1.1. Cavities:

The first and foremost problem caused by those kids who don’t brush their teeth is cavities. The general meaning of the word cavity is having space or an opening. Coming to the cavities in the teeth1, it is the holes or gaps that are developed in some parts of the teeth due to tooth decay.

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JH Lee on Shutterstock

Dental cavities are permanent, but with the right measures, we can prevent them. Cavities are also called tooth decay.2 The action of sugary sweets generally causes tooth decay. Candies, chocolates, and bacteria in the mouth are some of the biggest reasons for this.

Bacteria naturally set back in the mouth if you don’t regularly brush your teeth. This bacteria eventually causes tooth decay. Then, as the cavities develop, they cause immense pain as something gets stuck in those holes.

1.2. Corrosion of the Enamel:

Enamel is the outer covering or the simple shield of teeth. It acts as a wall and combats germs and bacteria. It protects the teeth from getting prone to cavities. 3

The layers of the enamel are faded out with the acid attack on it by the bacteria in our mouth. The food particles left out in our mouths are the source of germs and bacteria to act upon. So the more the acidity, the more the teeth get yellowish.

Once the enamel gets corroded, you will lose your shield, and any bacteria can act vigorously on it. In addition, for those kids who don’t brush their teeth, the layer tends to wear out rapidly as the bacteria in the mouth is not cleaned.

Overbrushing or forcibly brushing can corrode the enamel layer. This corrosion of enamel leads to sensitivity when the dentin gets exposed.

1.3. Plaque and Tartar:

Plaque is a commonly known term, and it is a soft and yellow-colored layer of bacteria formed on one’s teeth. And tartar is the hard form of the plaque. If plaque is not cleaned for a long time, it gets harder in nature and darker in color, creating tartar.

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Sergii Kuchugurnyi on Shutterstock

While plaque is easily removable through proper brushing, tartar is not like that. You should consult a dentist to get it removed. Plaque and tartar are formed by bacteria that sit on the teeth for a longer period. This is the most common problem that occurs for kids who don’t brush their teeth.

1.4. Gingivitis:

Gingiva is a part of our gums at the bottom of our teeth and holds our teeth firmly. Gingivitis is a gum disease where the gums become swollen, red in color, and irritated. Gingivitis is most commonly caused by the plaque that settles on the teeth.

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Alona Siniehina on Shutterstock

Too much plaque can diminish the strength of the gums. In addition to that, the bacteria causing plaque create inflammation and irritate gums. Gradually, the gums get weaker and turn soft, and they even bleed in some conditions. If this is not controlled at the right time, you must visit centers for disease control. Kids who don’t brush their teeth tend to encounter this issue most often.

1.5. Periodontitis:

Periodontitis refers to major bone damage that occurs in the bones that support our teeth. Once these bones get softer or damaged, the gums slowly reveal their teeth as they get loosened. In addition to this, the bone also gets damaged.

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Barks on Shutterstock

This ultimately leads to tooth loss. Periodontitis initializes with gum inflammation and gets worse thereafter. With the right medications and treatment in the early stages, this can be cured. However, as we know, disease control and prevention are most needed to maintain dental hygiene.

1.6. Poor Mouth Odor:

For kids who don’t brush their teeth, the bacteria in the mouth sit for a lot of time and release acids, resulting in a pungent and poor smell.

At a young age, kids are less likely to speak as they are incapable of doing so. Also, staying for such a long time without opening their mouth causes a bad mouth odor, and in that case, if they do not brush their teeth, the bacteria tend to settle for some more time.

An extended duration of this bacteria sitting on the teeth may cause many problems like cavities, plaque, tartar, gingivitis, etc.

Here are some methods and tricks that make the kids adapt to brushing and do this as a habit.

2. Methods, Tips, and Tricks to Get Rid of the Above Issues and Make Kids Brush Their Teeth:

2.1. Brush or Make Kids Brush Their Teeth Twice a Day:

Stay sure that you somehow make your kids brush their teeth twice a day. If not, you could try showing them some form of illusion. Generally, brushing two times a day, morning and night almost kicks the germs out.

We generally neglect to brush in the night, but that does a lot of good to us. The regular removal of plaque and germs can bring an extraordinary change in our oral health.

This can only be done when we brush our teeth twice a day. And kids are most likely to eat chocolates and candies. So, in that case, brushing two times is required.

2.2. Brush Properly:

It isn’t easy to make kids brush their teeth, but it is essential to brush their teeth properly for at least two minutes. This is quite an impossible task and a big deal for the parents of notorious kids as they refuse to brush their teeth. Improper brushing is the same as not brushing at all.

Just take some time to persuade your kids. It is very important to brush the gums as well, and healthy gums help in promoting healthy teeth. On the other hand, improper brushing of gums can cause gum diseases like gingivitis.

Ensure you teach your child to brush their teeth in a circular motion that covers all the parts of the mouth and every corner part of the teeth.

You are advised not to neglect the tongue, since improper cleaning of the tongue causes a worse odor as the plaque gets accumulated on the tongue.

2.3. Make Brushing Fun:

Kids are super good and powerful at saying NO. So make sure you bring a lot of fun to the brushing time. Make some fun stuff, create some excitement within them, twirl the kids who don’t brush their teeth to your side, and do some productive deeds.

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Photo by RODNAE Productions from Pexels

Hum some toothbrush songs, create new brushing songs and sing them to them, let them drown in your magic. Then, buy them child brushes or a toothbrush of their choice having some Disney character by which they get fascinated and show some interest in brushing.

2.4. Comprehend the Benefits:

Just let the kids know the benefits of brushing their teeth. Then, make it a tale, create characters of those kids who don’t brush their teeth, and tell them what happens to them.

Use television advertisements as an option to get them in real life, bring those animated germs into reality, and comprehend how a germ destroys the teeth. Make this exciting, just like an interesting fairy story.

2.5. Habituate Brushing to Kids:

Brushing in the morning and evening should be made a habit. Let them adapt to the timings and slowly make it a habit. Give kids some rewards for brushing properly; appreciate them.

Don’t give them candies in any case. Candies and chocolates are sticky sugars that get attached to the teeth. They do cause cavities if not cleaned or brushed off properly. So make sure you avoid too many candies.

2.6. Brush your Teeth at the Same Time as They Do:

This way of brushing your teeth while the kids are doing it is a good idea that can make tooth brushing fun and a habit. For kids who don’t brush their teeth, make some steps to brush and ask them to repeat after you.

Kids Who Don't Brush Their Teeth
Photo by Keira Burton from Pexels

2.7. It Is Okay to Use Water or Toothpaste:

For kids, you can use water or toothpaste to brush their teeth. It is preferable to use a little paste, just like a pea-sized bit on the soft bristle of the brush.

Make sure they brush but do not eat the toothpaste and keep an eye while they are performing this. And in addition to this, check if the kids are spiting the foam out. This improves oral hygiene and dental care.

2.8. Visit a Dentist:

Keep a gap of 6 months between dentist visits. Make sure you take your kids along. Take proper medications if needed, and make sure to take care as usual. In addition, floss your teeth as well.

3. Conclusion

In conclusion, there are serious consequences for kids who don’t brush their teeth properly, including plaque buildup, cavities, and potential long-term dental problems. The foundation for a lifetime of dental wellness can be fostered by parents and guardians by instilling in children the importance of good oral hygiene practices. Beyond only taking care of your teeth, these behaviors also teach principles of accountability and healthy lifestyle choices.

The relationship between oral health and general health 4calls for a comprehensive approach to children’s healthcare, emphasizing the significance of making appropriate tooth brushing a top priority as an essential part of their development. In the end, investing in children’s dental health today will pay off for their general health and future smiles.

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6. FAQs

Q. What are the effects of children having cavities?

Cavities can result in tooth sensitivity, pain, a challenging eating experience, and possible infection. Children may find dental procedures painful when used to treat cavities.

Q. How can parents motivate their children to wash their teeth?

Using colorful toothbrushes, flavorful toothpaste, and imaginative rituals, parents can make brushing pleasurable for their children. Kids can be motivated by setting an example and discussing the value of dental care.

Q. When should parents begin educating children about dental hygiene?

As soon as the first tooth erupts, parents can begin educating children about dental hygiene. A foundation for lasting habits is laid quite early on.

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Proofread by:

Dr. Foram Bhuta

Dentist (B.D.S)

  1. Tedesco, Tamara Kerber, et al. “Art is an alternative for restoring occlusoproximal cavities in primary teeth–evidence from an updated systematic review and meta‐analysis.” International journal of paediatric dentistry 27.3 (2017): 201-209. ↩︎
  2. Network, Fluoride Action. “The mystery of declining tooth decay.” Nature 332 (1986): 125-129. ↩︎
  3. Kirby, Anna M., et al. “Tumor bed delineation for partial breast and breast boost radiotherapy planned in the prone position: what does MRI add to X-ray CT localization of titanium clips placed in the excision cavity wall?.” International Journal of Radiation Oncology* Biology* Physics 74.4 (2009): 1276-1282. ↩︎
  4. Dörfer, Christof, et al. “The relationship of oral health with general health and NCDs: a brief review.” International dental journal 67 (2017): 14-18. ↩︎

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