Brushing & Flossing Instructions
Parents must start brushing teeth for their infants as soon as the first tooth erupts. Parents can clean the baby’s teeth with a soft washcloth or a toothbrush with soft, rounded bristles. By age 2-3, you can begin to teach your child to brush. Allow him/her to practice, but please continue the twice-daily brushing for your child. Apply a smear of fluoride toothpaste for children under 2. Use smaller-than-pea-size fluoride toothpaste for toddlers and younger children 2-5 years old.
Hold the brush at a 45 degrees angle towards teeth and gums. Move the 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.
Helping toddlers to brush their teeth can be quite a challenge at home; however, making toothbrushing a fun daily routine is achievable. Here are some suggestions,
- Let your child brush your teeth at the same time.
- Let your child pick out a few toothbrushes with his favorite characters and giving him a choice of which one he wants to use each time.
- Let your child brush his own teeth first (you will likely have to “help out”).
- Read children’s books about tooth brushing with your child.