FAQ: How should I brush my child’s teeth? – Shelby Pediatric Dentistry Serving The Birmingham AL Area

FAQ: How should I brush my child’s teeth?

Brushing your child’s teeth changes as they get older. It’s important to start brushing your child’s teeth at 6 months, or as soon as the first tooth comes in. Make sure to use just a smear of fluoride toothpaste for children age 6mo to 2 years, and a pea size amount for children age 2yrs and older.

The easiest way to brush a Knee2Knee toddler’s teeth who doesn’t want to cooperate is to lay them on the ground and place their head between your legs and their arms stretched out under your legs. This allows you to use one hand to lift the lips and the other to brush the teeth without the child interfering with the brushing process. Typically, uncooperative children will only require this position for a week or two, then will realize that brushing will happen regardless of their desire to brush or not. Hopefully, they will allow you to brush their teeth while they are sitting up normally.

If you have two people, you can use the “knee-to-knee” position like we use in the office. Have the two caregivers face each other with one holding the child. Parent #1 will wrap the child’s legs around their waist and lean them back into the other parent’s lap. Parent #2 will then brush the teeth while parent #1 holds the child’s hands gently.Brushing Position Once your children get used to brushing daily, then you stand behind the child for an easier angle and brush their teeth in the bathroom. You can also try brushing their teeth while watching TV if they watch a show at night, or using some other distraction like an engaging toy. Once the child is age 2-9, you can allow them to try to brush their teeth first, and then the parent should brush afterward. Pay special attention to the gumline and the back teeth. Often, you will have to lift the child’s upper lip or lower the bottom lip to be able to brush effectively.

Once the child is around age 10 (some may be ready for independent brushing a little sooner or a little later) then allow the child to brush on their own, but it’s still important to at least check their teeth every few days to make sure they are brushing effectively. If the teeth look orange, or look dull (not shiny) or are “fuzzy”, then there is too much plaque on the teeth. You may need to help your child hit the problem areas and go back to checking the teeth daily.

Source: FAQ: How should I brush my child’s teeth? – Shelby Pediatric Dentistry Serving The Birmingham AL Area

Advice for Parents • Clean or brush a young child’s teeth twice daily. • Begin wiping the gums of even a very small infant...

Dental Hygiene for Kids

Cleaning Primary Teeth for Optimal Oral Health

From birth to 12 months, you should gently wipe your baby’s gums with a clean baby washcloth or gauze. When the first tooth appears, clean the surface using a baby toothbrush and water. According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, the best time to clean your baby’s teeth is after breakfast and before bedtime. For children 12-24 months of age, use a child-size toothbrush and a pea-size amount of toothpaste. Unless fluoridated toothpaste is explicitly recommended by your dentist or pediatrician, it is best not to use it until your child can safely spit to prevent ingestion of excessive amounts of toothpaste. The American Academy of Pediatrics states that fluoride is a safe, naturally occurring substance that is very effective in preventing tooth decay. If you do not live in a community that supplements the drinking water with fluoride, your dentist or pediatrician may prescribe a fluoride supplement. For children with a low risk of developing early childhood caries, supplements are not recommended, and other sources of fluoride should be sought.

Source: Dental Hygiene for Kids

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