Tooth Brushing

Brushing and Flossing Instructions

Children’s 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.

family in dentaloffice

Wipe infant’s teeth gently with a moist, soft cloth or gauze square. As babies grow, use a child’s toothbrush with a small, pea-sized dab of fluoride free toothpaste. By age 2 or 3 begin to teach your child to brush. You will still need to brush where they miss. Dentists and hygienists often advise children to use a gentle, short, back and forth motion to remove plaque.

Hold the brush at an angle (45 degrees) towards teeth and gums. Move brush back and forth with short strokes, about a half tooth wide.

  • 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.

Begin brushing your baby’s teeth as soon as they erupt into the mouth.

For most toddlers, getting them to brush their teeth can be quite a challenge.

Some suggestions for making tooth brushing less of a battle include:

  • Let your child brush your teeth at the same time.
  • Let your child pick out a few toothbrushes with your child’s favorite characters and give your child a choice of which one he or she wants to use each time (this will give your child some feeling of control over the situation).
  • Let your child brush his or her own teeth first (you will likely have to “help out”).           
  • Read some children’s books about tooth brushing.
  • Have everyone brush their teeth at the same time.
  • To help your child understand the importance of brushing, let him eat or drink something that will ‘stain’ his teeth temporarily, and then let him brush them clean.
  • Create a ‘tooth brushing routine’ and stick to the same routine every day.