Dental health: brush your molars properly

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"Cross brushing" against molar teeth

Bad teeth are no longer an exception in Germany's children. In around 15 percent of toddlers, tooth decay occurs before the third birthday. On the occasion of Dental Health Day, experts explain how important thorough dental care is and how the child's teeth are properly cleaned.

Parents should brush their children's teeth if necessary. Under the motto "Healthy starts in the mouth - brushing your teeth makes school", the Dental Health Day took place on September 25, when more than 20 companies and associations from the dental profession and health insurers have organized numerous campaigns since 1991. This year the children's dental health was in the foreground, because it is anything but good for them. Just over half of all schoolchildren have healthy, caries-free teeth.

This problem is particularly common among children from families with low incomes. "Children from socially disadvantaged classes have significantly more caries than the average age of the population," reported Manuela Schäfer, consultant for contract dental care at the National Association of Statutory Health Insurance Funds. The expert therefore supports group prophylaxis in kindergartens and schools. If parents couldn't take responsibility for their children's dental care, kindergarten and school would have to step in. Evaluations by local dental services confirmed that "primary school children who brushed their teeth every day in kindergarten had significantly healthier permanent teeth than children who could not brush in the facility," says a statement from the Association for Dental Hygiene.

Dr. explains that oral hygiene plays an important role, especially in school. Pantelis Petrakakis, Chairman of the Federation of Dentists of the Public Health Service. “In this phase, the change of teeth usually begins; ideally, the new permanent teeth should remain healthy and functional well into old age. ”When the first permanent molar appears in the child's mouth by the age of six, it is initially somewhat deeper than the other teeth. In order to ensure its cleaning, in addition to the usual cleaning movements on the chewing surfaces and the sides, the toothbrush should be brushed back and forth behind the last milk count. The Federal Association of Pediatric Dentists advises this. In this way, a thorough cleaning of the permanent tooth is guaranteed. Until the children themselves are able to brush their teeth properly, they should get support from their parents by brushing them up. (ag)

Image: Claudia Heck /

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