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Please brush your teeth better. Here is how… by Dr Annetta Tsang Paediatric Dentist

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Please brush your teeth better. Here is how… by Dr Annetta Tsang Paediatric Dentist

As a paediatric dentist and a mum, I often hear myself repeating, “Please brush your teeth better”.

Easier said than done!

Toothbrushing for longer does not necessarily translate to better brushing.

Toothbrushing 3 or 4 times a day does not necessarily lead to better brushing either.

Neither does toothbrushing with a bigger dollop of toothpaste.

So then, HOW can we brush better? 

Many of the bacteria that cause tooth decay and gum disease live within the dental plaque on our teeth. We cannot see dental plaque easily because it is similar in colour to teeth. Dental plaque is so cleverly camouflaged, that even when we diligently brush for minutes, we may still miss some.

There are disclosing tablets and solutions that stain up dental plaque on our teeth. Problems are…traditional disclosing agents are messy and using them means extra steps to our oral hygiene routine!

Now, there is Plaque Glo, an all-in-one toothpaste from Piksters, that takes the guess work out of removing dental plaque. This toothpaste is formulated with a mess-free stain, fluorescein. Simply use a pea-sized amount of Plaque Glo toothpaste to brush teeth, spit or rinse with water, and illuminate teeth with the blue LED light that comes with the toothpaste. Under the light, fluorescein-stained dental plaque glows and becomes easily visible, making it possible to “brush better”.

Plaque Glo contains 1000ppm fluoride, which protects teeth against tooth decay by balancing the demineralization and remineralization processes that occur in our mouths. The International Association of Paediatric Dentistry recommends 1000ppm fluoridated toothpaste for toothbrushing as soon as first teeth erupt. In contrast, the Australian Dental Association recommends 1000ppm fluoridated toothpaste for toothbrushing from the age of 6yo.

Plaque Glo also comes in 2 flavours: yummy tropical and mild mint.  Such delicious flavours not only make toothbrushing more enjoyable but can also stimulate saliva production. Saliva contributes to oral health in many ways including oral cleansing, acid buffering and immune defence.

In addition to being mouth-watering, Plaque Glo is bright and colourful. Yummy tropical is brilliantly orange. Mild mint a superhero-worthy green (think Shrek, Green Lantern, Gekko). Why use ordinary toothpaste when we can use incredible “tooth paint”?!

A toothpaste like Plaque Glo is set to make toothbrushing fun! Some children will enjoy seeing their teeth glow. Others will love taking on the role of a detective, hunting down sneaky bad bacteria and getting rid of them.

For young children, having an adult brush their teeth will achieve better toothbrushing than if they brushed by themselves, regardless of the choice of toothpaste. While fine motor skills are still developing, it is unrealistic to expect children to be able to brush their own teeth effectively. If children cannot cursive write consistently, or tie their own shoelaces properly, then it is unlikely their toothbrushing will be effective. Using a toothpaste like Plaque Glo, we can be sure that we are indeed removing the dental plaque off our children’s teeth. Brushing better - easier!

 Note from Plaque Glo website: Image courtesy of Dr Tsangs website toothbunny.com