Brushing and Flossing FAQs for Children
Starting and practicing good dental habits at a young age can help keep their teeth and gums healthy for decades to come! Below are some frequently asked questions we receive about children’s dental care:
What should I use to clean my baby’s teeth?
- A toothbrush will remove plaque and bacteria that can lead to decay. Any soft-bristled toothbrush with a small head, preferably one designed specifically for infants should be used twice daily.
When should we begin using toothpaste and how much should we use?
- Starting at birth, it is recommended to clean your child’s gums with a soft infant toothbrush or cloth with water during bath time.
- Parents should use a tiny smear or rice-sized amount of fluoride toothpaste to brush baby teeth twice daily as soon as they erupt with a soft, age-appropriate sized toothbrush.
- Once children are 3 to 6 years old, then the amount should be increased to a pea-size amount and perform or assist your child’s toothbrushing.
- Remember that young children do not have the ability to brush their teeth effectively. Children should spit out and not swallow excess toothpaste after brushing.
What age can children begin brushing their own teeth?
- Toddlers can and should be encouraged to help brush their teeth as soon as they can hold a brush.
- Parents should brush preschoolers’ teeth and supervise the brushing for school-age children until they are 7 to 8 years of age (about the same time they can tie their own shoelaces or write in cursive).
When should we begin flossing my child’s teeth?
- When all sides of a tooth cannot be cleaned by brushing alone, it is time to begin flossing your child’s teeth.
- Initially, floss your child’s teeth for them. As he or she matures, supervise his or her flossing. Your child should master this skill by around age 10.
- Floss picks, or flossers, work great for kids as they are easier to maneuver.
What is the best toothbrush for kids aged 9-13 years old?
- By the time your child reaches 9-10 years old, many adult teeth are now present and an adult toothbrush/toothpaste can be used. Any soft-bristled toothbrush should be used two times a day for two minutes.
Once your child can brush their own teeth, encourage them to get into a routine of twice-daily brushing. Contact Fox Dental with any further questions.