What Happens if Kids Don't Brush Their Teeth

What Happens if Kids Don’t Brush Their Teeth?

Team Pediatric

Many parents don’t pay attention to their kid’s oral hygiene because they are too busy. Or they may assume their children are independently doing a good job maintaining their dental health and hygiene habits when, in reality, they are not. This can lead to serious consequences as children who don’t brush their teeth properly are at risk of long-term complications that could hurt their parents’ wallets in the long run. 

What Can Happen if a Child Doesn’t Brush Their Teeth?

One in three children don’t brush their teeth often enough, according to one survey. Don’t let your child be one of them.

Lack of brushing or poor brushing can lead to any of the following and more:

Tooth Decay

Plaque, a combination of bacteria, food particles, and acid in the mouth, will likely damage the natural tooth enamel, causing weakened areas that result in cavities. Sadly, tooth decay is one of the highly diagnosed chronic conditions in children. In fact, tooth decay is present in about 20 percent of children between the ages of 5 and 11.


Without brushing that leads to a healthy mouth, both teeth and gums can become discolored. Teeth may develop white splotches, yellow tints, or brown stains, and gums can appear abnormally dark or red.

Bad Breath

Food particles and bacteria will build up in the mouth, leading to bad breath if proper brushing isn’t performed on a routine basis.

Pain or Discomfort

Unfortunately, cavities can be uncomfortable and even painful. In addition, not brushing can also lead to pain or discomfort with anything in the mouth.

Problems Eating or Speaking

Poor dental hygiene can cause chewing difficulties, which in children can lead to poor digestion and concentration problems in school. It can also lead to speaking and pronunciation difficulties in some kids.

Issues with Permanent Teeth

The eruption of permanent teeth may also be impacted by not brushing or brushing poorly at a young age.

Frequently Asked Questions About Kids Dental Health

How Can I Prepare My Child for a Dental Visit?

There are many steps you can take to prepare your child for their dental visit, whether it's their first or 15th time to go. First, talk about it with them. Give them plenty of notice that they have an upcoming dental appointment, which will allow you to answer any questions they have.

You can also read books or watch videos to give them an idea of what to expect and help normalize the experience. You should also discuss the importance of healthy teeth at an appropriate age level. Remember that children who start visiting the dentist at a young age have much less fear about dental appointments as they get older.

How Often Should My Kids See a Dentist?

Generally, children should have a routine dental exam and cleaning about every six months. However, your pediatric dentist might recommend a different timeline based on your child’s specific dental or health needs.

Pediatric Dentistry at The Smile Architects

At The Smile Architects, we know that you want the best for your child—and we do, too! We offer a friendly, no-pressure environment tailored to your child’s needs. We will listen to your concerns about your child’s dental health and work together to give them the healthiest, best-looking smile possible. Call 704-875-1621 today to schedule an appointment or learn more about our pediatric dental services