Developing good routines with your child will be the foundation of their oral health leading to adulthood. The most effective way to do this is by using age-specific products that make brushing teeth fun! A quick search online and you’ll find toothbrushes with their favorite cartoon characters and special fun apps that help with guiding them during brushing time.
For a baby (4-24 months):
- Wipe their gums with a soft washcloth after feeding. This removes plaque and germs that cause tooth decay and gum disease.
- Once you spot a tooth, it will be important to brush 2 times a day with water and a soft-bristle toothbrush.
For toddlers (2-4 years):
- Use a pea-sized amount of a kid’s fluoride toothpaste to help prevent cavities.
- Brush 2 times a day for 2 minutes each time.
- By age 4 they should no longer be in the habit of thumb sucking or using a pacifier
For children (5-7 years):
- Brush twice. Once after breakfast and once before bed.
- Continue to use a fluoride toothpaste with a brush large enough to reach the molars
- Begin flossing as soon as 2 teeth touch. Floss holders are a great aid until the child develops the dexterity to floss on their own.
How to Brush
- Inside and outside of every tooth: Place the brush at a 45-degree angle; with short, gentle strokes, move the toothbrush from the gums toward the edge of the teeth.
- Chewing surfaces: Hold the brush flat and brush back and forth. It’ll be fun if your child holds the brush, too.
- Inside surfaces of front teeth: Tilt the toothbrush up or down and use gentle up-and-down strokes with the tip of the brush.
How to Floss
- Wrap the ends of the floss around the middle fingers
- Hold the floss between the thumb and middle finger, leaving about 1″ of floss between hands
- Gently work the floss between teeth. Once you reach the gumline, curve floss into a “C” shape around the tooth and make sure to go below the gumline
- Gently glide the floss up and down several times between each tooth, including the back teeth