Brushing Children’s Teeth
Tips for Brushing Children’s Teeth
Brushing children’s teeth might seem like a simple part of their daily routine, but it’s a crucial step in preventing tooth decay and ensuring healthy teeth and gums from an early age. Whether you’re just starting to brush your little one’s teeth or looking for ways to encourage older children to maintain good dental habits, this guide is here to help.
Our Brisbane paediatric dentists in Pure Dentistry share practical tips and techniques to make brushing an enjoyable and effective part of your child’s day, safeguarding their smile for years to come.
The Basics of Brushing Children’s Teeth
Brushing children’s teeth is more than just a daily chore; it’s a building block for a lifetime of healthy smiles. From the moment the first tooth appears, it’s important to start a routine. For tiny tots, use a soft-bristled toothbrush and gently brush their teeth and gums.
As they grow, encourage them to brush their own teeth, showing them how to make gentle circles on each tooth. Remember, regular tooth brushing is key to keeping those little pearly whites in tip-top shape.
Brushing Children’s Teeth: Age-Appropriate Toothpaste
When it comes to toothpaste for young children, the timing and type of toothpaste you use are crucial for their oral health. Here’s a guideline based on the recommendations from paediatric dentists in Brisbane:
From Birth to Seventeen Months: For infants and babies up to seventeen months old, clean your child’s gums with a soft cloth or gauze dipped in water. Avoid using any toothpaste during this stage. This approach helps remove bacteria from the mouth and prepares your child for future tooth brushing habits when their first tooth appears.
From Eighteen Months to Five Years: Once your child reaches eighteen months, you can start using a low-fluoride toothpaste specifically designed for young children. Apply a tiny smear of toothpaste, about the size of a grain of rice, to a soft-bristled, child-sized toothbrush. This amount ensures your child gets the benefits of fluoride while minimizing the risk of fluorosis. Encourage your child to spit out the toothpaste and not to rinse or swallow after brushing.
From Six Years Onward: When your child turns six, it’s time to increase the fluoride level for added protection against tooth decay. Switch to a regular fluoride toothpaste, using a pea-sized amount. Again, ensure that your child spits out the toothpaste and doesn’t rinse or swallow after brushing.
Remember, the introduction and amount of toothpaste should be consistent with these age guidelines to promote optimal dental health and prevent issues like tooth decay and fluorosis. Regular dental checkups are also essential to assess your child’s specific needs and adjust their oral care routine as necessary.
Choosing the Right Toothbrush for Brushing Children’s Teeth
Choosing the right toothbrush is fundamental for your child’s oral hygiene. From their first teeth, a small-headed, soft-bristled brush is ideal for gently cleaning both teeth and gums. As children grow and develop better motor skills, typically around age 3 and up, an electric toothbrush can be a fun and effective alternative. It’s important, however, to supervise and assist children in brushing until around age 7 to ensure thorough cleaning. The toothbrush should comfortably fit in the child’s mouth, enabling access to all teeth, particularly along the gum line and chewing surfaces. This practice is crucial for removing bacteria and preventing tooth decay. Starting these habits early is vital for the health of both baby teeth and emerging adult teeth. Remember to replace the toothbrush regularly, whether manual or electric, to maintain its effectiveness in cleaning your child’s teeth.
Overcoming Challenges in Brushing Your Child’s Teeth
Let’s face it: sometimes, kids don’t want to brush their teeth. To make it easier, try turning tooth brushing time into a fun activity. Sing a song, make it a game, or let them pick out their own toothbrush.
Remember, it’s never too early to start brushing your child’s teeth. The sooner it becomes a part of their daily routine, the easier it will be. And if you’re facing any serious challenges, your paediatric dentist is always there to help with personalized advice and tips.
How to Use Effective Techniques to Brush Your Child’s Teeth
Brushing your child’s teeth can be easy and effective with these simple steps. First, for children under the age of 6, use a small amount of fluoride toothpaste, about the size of a grain of rice. Position your child comfortably, maybe with their head resting on your elbow, so you both can see and reach their teeth easily.
Start with the inside surfaces of the teeth, where plaque often accumulates the most. Hold the brush at a slight angle and brush gently in small circles. This method is gentle on their gums and effective in cleaning.
Next, move to the chewing surfaces. Make sure to brush back and forth gently to clean all the grooves and ridges. These areas are important, especially for children who are just starting to eat solid food.
Then, focus on the outside surfaces of the teeth. Keep the brush at an angle against the gumline, and brush softly in small circular motions. This is key to keeping their gums healthy.
Finally, don’t forget the front teeth. Tilt the brush vertically and gently brush up and down. This helps clean the inside surfaces of the front teeth effectively.
For most children, brushing should last about two minutes. Encourage your child to spit out the toothpaste after brushing. Remember, a little patience and encouragement can make tooth brushing a positive experience for both of you.
Engaging Your Child in the Process of Brushing Teeth
Getting your child excited about brushing their teeth can be fun and rewarding. One great way is to turn brushing teeth into a game. Maybe they’re a superhero fighting the ‘cavity monsters’, or perhaps you can brush your teeth together, making it a family activity.
For toddler’s teeth, choose a toothbrush with their favourite cartoon character and a yummy-flavoured toothpaste.
Encourage them to brush every tooth, front and back. Sometimes, seeing other children brushing can also motivate them. Whether it’s a sibling or a friend, brushing together can make it more enjoyable.
The Importance of Regular Dental Checkups for Children’s Oral Health
Regular dental checkups are key to keeping your child’s mouth healthy. These visits help catch any small issues before they become big problems. During a checkup, the dentist can ensure that your child is brushing their teeth correctly and that their gums are healthy.
They can also give advice on any toothbrush or toothpaste changes as your child grows. Checkups are not just about fixing problems; they’re about preventing them. Keeping a regular schedule of dental visits helps maintain a strong foundation for your child’s oral health.
Discover Paediatric Dental Care at Pure Dentistry
Ready to give your little one the best start in their teeth brushing journey? At Pure Dentistry, we’re here to support you and your child every step of the way.
From the first baby’s teeth to guiding you on how to brush your child’s teeth effectively, our team is dedicated to preventing dental caries and ensuring a healthy, happy smile for your child.
Let’s work together to create a bright dental future for your little one. Book your appointment today by calling 07 3343 4869, and let’s make brushing fun and effective for your child!