Parents Must Set a Good Oral Hygiene Example

McGinty Dental Group

As patients of the McGinty Dental Group know, a connection exists that links your oral health with your overall health. As a holistic dentist, Dr. McGinty is very in-tune with this connection and strives to provide patients with the type of full body care they need to look and feel their best.

Maintaining a healthy smile requires making a consistent commitment to practicing quality oral hygiene at home and to scheduling regular dental cleanings and exams with our team at the McGinty Dental Group. Brushing and flossing are not habits that allow you to vary how committed you remain, especially if a parent.

Parents know that children will often copy what they see mommy and daddy do, and how parents brush and floss is no exception. A recent study has even found that parents need to do more to set a good example when it comes to brushing and flossing. This ongoing pandemic has made it even harder for parents who may no longer feel the need to brush and floss like they once did.

Setting a Better Example

A study conducted by the toothpaste brand Mentadent P found that during lockdown many people’s attitudes shifted when it came to their oral health care.

For many people, the appearance of their teeth and gums is a major motivating factor behind their commitment to brush and floss. No one wants to show up to an important meeting with bad breath or with food stuck in their teeth. However, having spent a year in lockdown without seeing any coworkers face-to-face, or having to wear a face mask while at work, has caused many people around the world to slack off when it comes to maintaining their normal oral hygiene routines.

Specifically, researchers noted that children have started to mirror their parent’s behaviors to the detriment of their own oral health. Children are seven times more likely to skip brushing if even one parent doesn’t brush at least twice a day.

The Mentadent P study uncovered some surprising results:

  • Fewer people are now brushing at least twice a day when compared to before the pandemic, with a 11 percent drop in kids and a 5 percent drop in adults.
  • 1 in 4 kids are not brushing their teeth twice a day, and 40 percent of adults reported going at least an entire day without brushing at all.
  • Despite a drop in their oral care, 2 out of 3 study respondents reported not feeling worried about their oral health.
  • The study found that parents with poor oral hygiene habits passed those habits onto their kids, even if they tried to have their kids brush and floss regularly.
  • While nearly 75 percent of study respondents reported experiencing some kind of tooth related issue during the pandemic, 70 percent of those affected failed to visit a dentist.

Poor Oral Care Leads to More Oral Health Problems

Among the survey respondents who reported experiencing an oral health issue during the pandemic, the top five complaints included:

  • Gums that bleed after brushing or flossing (30%)
  • Oral pain in the mouth (30%)
  • Dry mouth (25%)
  • Persistent bad breath (25%)
  • Difficulty eating due to oral pain (21%)

Parents also reported to being more relaxed when it came to their kids’ oral health habits, including:

  • 61% allowed their kids to eat sugar before going to bed
  • 35% admitted to rewarding their kids by saying they wouldn’t have to brush and floss


Obviously, the pandemic and the ensuing lockdown were hard on everyone, and our goal at the McGinty Dental Group isn’t to shame any parent. Dr. McGinty and our team just want to encourage and remind parents about the importance of their kids’ oral health, which starts by setting a solid foundation with daily oral hygiene.

If your kids’ oral health has declined during the pandemic, don’t worry. Dr. McGinty and our team can help every member of the family enjoy the great-looking smile they deserve. Contact our office today to schedule the family’s next appointment with Dr. McGinty.


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