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Helping children find solutions for oral health care

Feb. 16, 2012
Jackie Sanders, RDH, BS, tackles the issue of how we can assist children in developing quality lifelong oral-care habits.
By Jackie Sanders, RDH, BS
It can often be a challenge for parents to get their children to brush their teeth. Where do the solutions lie? How do we assist our children in developing quality lifelong habits?Sunstar Americas, Inc. recently commissioned MDLinx to conduct a survey via online interviews. Both general and pediatric dentists were surveyed to explore the topic of children’s oral care and what can be done to assist them in keeping their teeth and gums healthy. Portions of this article will be based upon the survey results.When asked, 100% of the dentists surveyed, agreed that the dental habits that children learn at a young age impact their overall dental health as they get older. The results also confirmed that to motivate children to brush their teeth we need to make brushing fun, and the process should be supported with a quality toothbrush.Nearly 90% of the dentists surveyed confirmed that their pediatric patients do not brush for the proper amount of time and 75% of those surveyed said their patients’ did not brush properly. Oral health instruction should begin with the eruption of the first tooth, and the process is most effective when entertainment is involved. Developing a regular routine will assist the younger child in building a habit. The teaching of a habit is much more important than focusing on the technique as children will develop the necessary motor skills to acquire the proper technique as they mature.How do we assist children in developing longer tooth brushing habits?
Sunstar has several solutions with the Crayola Timer Light Brush and the NEW Star Wars LightSaber Toothbrushes. Both products include a lighted handle when activated that will flash for 60 seconds. The flashing light will assist children in developing the habit of brushing the upper arch for one full minute, reactivate the light and brush the lower arch for an additional full minute. Good oral health habits are taught over time, and a flashing light is a simple instructional tool that children can use when mom and dad aren’t available to assist them with timing.When asked, 88% of surveyed dentists agreed that toothbrushes featuring easy to recognize characters help motivate children to brush their teeth.
Sunstar is excited to introduce the New Star Wars line of manual, lighted and power toothbrushes along with the NEW DinoTrain line of manual brushes. Another addition to the current program is the New Crayola Power Brush. The Crayola brush includes a travel cap and decorative stickers allowing children the opportunity to customize their toothbrush to their liking. To assist children with the development of proper techniques, Sunstar has customized many of the children’s toothbrushes with special features. These features include ultra soft bristles, unique angled bristle designs, a suction cup base on handles, timer lights, dome trim bristles, and new exciting character brushes. All of these additional features will support the parent’s concern of plaque removal, while their children are having fun and brushing longer.February is National Children’s Dental Health month. It is every dental professional’s desire to never see a child with a toothache. Through proper instruction and development of good oral care habits, we are one step closer to that goal.
Coming Soon! Available March 2012 GUM Star Wars Power Toothbrush and GUM Star Wars Lightsaber Toothbrush! Click here to watch the Dark Side, Good Habits Video!
Jackie Sanders, RDH, BS is Manager, Professional Relations & Communications for Sunstar Americas. You can reach Jackie at [email protected].