A Parent’s Guide to Good Brushing Habits for Their Child

April 15, 2020

At the office of Great Smiles Pediatric and Orthodontics, our professional team is committed to pediatric oral health, and wants to play an active role helping your child maintain a healthy set of teeth at every developmental stage. Here are some age-specific tips to help prevent the development of tooth decay in your child:

Newborn to 1 year:

  • Clean your baby's gums even before his first teeth erupt. Wipe them with a damp washcloth after feedings.
  • Start brushing as soon as the first tooth appears. Wet a baby toothbrush and gently rub it back and forth on the surface of the tooth and along the gum line. If you use toothpaste, make sure it's fluoride-free.

Ages 1 to 3:

  • Brush your toddler’s teeth for at least 30 seconds (ideally a minute) after breakfast and before bed. Lean his head on your lap and place the brush at a 45-degree angle to the teeth.
  • Start using a tiny amount of fluoride toothpaste beginning at 2 or 3 years old. Begin flossing teeth for him when two of his teeth are touching.

Ages 3 to 5:

  • Brush your own teeth at the same time as your preschooler brushers, and give him lots of positive feedback.
  • Studies have found that manual toothbrushes are just as effective as powered ones. So it’s just a matter of preference.

Ages 5 to 12:

  • Your child can start brushing and flossing on his own at around age 7. If he can tie his own shoes, chances are he’s ready to brush solo. He should now brush for two minutes.
  • Look for food and plaque around the gum line of his teeth to see whether he’s doing a good enough job. If not, help guide him on how to do it better.

At the office of Great Smiles Pediatric and Orthodontics, we offer the highest quality of skilled and compassionate care for your child’s dental needs. For more information about the services we provide, give us a call today.

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