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 infants 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 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. When children are older they can switch to this method.
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.
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-size amount of a fluoride toothpaste or a non-fluoride toothpaste (like Baby OraGel) until your child is able to spit it out (too much fluoride can stain their teeth).
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:
To help him understand the importance of brushing, it can be sometimes fun and helpful to let him eat or drink something that will ‘stain’ his teeth temporarily, and then let him brush them clean.
It can also be a good idea to create a “tooth brushing routine” and stick to the same routine each day.
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