Tooth Brushing

Brushing & Flossing Instructions

mother and daughter brushing teeth

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.

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 toothpaste. By age two or three 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, circular motion to remove plaque.

Hold the brush at a 45 degrees angle towards teeth and gums. Gently move brush back and forth with a soft circular motion.

  • 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 can 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 until your child is able to spit it out. 

For most toddlers, getting them to brush their teeth can be quite a challenge. Some suggestions for making tooth brushing less of a battle can include:

  • Read to your child some children’s books about tooth brushing.
  • Let your child pick out a toothbrush with his favorite characters.
  • Be a good role model, have everyone brush together.
  • Play music and make it fun!

It can also be a good idea to create a “tooth brushing routine”. And stick to the same routine each day.