Childrens hands and mouths are different than adults. They need to use toothbrushes designed for children. Both adults and children should use brushes with soft, rounded bristles for gentle cleaning. Change to a new brush about every three months.
Wipe infants teeth gently with a moist, soft cloth or gauze square. As babies grow, use a childs toothbrush with a small, pea-sized dab of toothpaste, usually non-fluoridated until your child can spit. By age two or three begin to teach your child to brush. You will still need to brush where they miss every day. We advise parents/ guardians to use a gentle, small, circular motion to remove plaque. When children are older, usually around age 7, they can switch to this method and brush independently.
Hold the brush at a 45 degrees angle towards teeth and gums. Move brush in a circular motion with gentle pressure, about a tooth wide for 2 minutes.
- Brush the inside and outside surfaces of each tooth, top and bottom.
- Hold the brush flat on top of the teeth and brush the chewing surfaces.
- Gently brush the tongue to remove debris.
- Floss between teeth daily.
When To Begin Brushing
Once your child’s teeth begin erupting, you should begin cleaning them by wiping them with a moist washcloth. As your child gets more teeth, you can begin to use a soft child’s toothbrush. You should use just a pea-sized amount of toothpaste (such as Baby OraGel) until your child is able to spit it out (too much fluoride can discolor their teeth).
For most toddlers, brushing their teeth can be quite a challenge.
Some suggestions for making tooth brushing less of a battle can include:
- Let your child brush your teeth at the same time.
- Let your child pick out a few toothbrushes with his favorite characters and give him a choice of which one he wants to use each time (this will give him some feeling of control over the situation).
- Let your child brush his own teeth first (you will likely have to “help out”).
- Have everyone brush their teeth at the same time.
- Have your child lie down for brushing on the floor or bed so that you can see as you brush.
- Sing songs or play a movie to distract the child while you brush
It is a good idea to create a “tooth brushing routine” and stick to the same routine each day.