General and Preventive Dentistry Pediatric Dentistry

Brushing a child’s teeth or making children brush is the most tedious chore for any parent. At the
same time it’s the most important oral hygiene habit especially in growing age. As a parent it can
be challenging to help teach your child tooth brushing technique that works for them. To help
you out we have created simple guide to get your children for brushing their teeth regularly
without it feeling like a chore.

When to start Brushing your child’s teeth?

Good oral health habits should begin at an early age. Brushing your child’s teeth should begin
when their first tooth begins to come in or as directed by your pediatric dentist. Children need
help with brushing their teeth until they are 6-7 years of age. Even before your child actually has
teeth, it is important to perform oral health care. Use of damp washed cloth or a piece of gauze,
by gently rubbing it over infants gum helps in cleaning of gum pads. Also an infant’s mouth
should be cleaned after every feeding. This can be done by cradling head with one hand while
using free hand to wipe babies mouth with clean wet gauze.

General Brushing tips for children:

  • To brush an infant’s teeth, use a soft bristled, age appropriate toothbrush. Fluoridated toothpaste
    if given at a smaller age, consult your pediatric dentist first for the exact amount of toothpaste to
    be used.
  • For toddlers, just a smear layer of toothpaste is sufficient to use. For children below 3 years of
    age use rice grain amount of toothpaste, whereas for children above 3 years of age use a pea size
    amount of toothpaste.
  • Children aged 6-8 years are capable of brushing on their own. But still the brushing has to under
    the supervision of parents if the child is unsure whether they have cleaned all areas of mouth.
  • Encourage children to brush their teeth at least twice a day , morning and night with a soft
    bristled toothbrush. Hard bristles are too abrasive for young children.
  • If children are lazy enough to brush their teeth, battery powered toothbrushes can also be used
    which can remove the sticky plaque from teeth easily.
  • Children’s toothbrushes have to be replaced every 3 to 4 months or sometimes sooner too if the
    bristles get frayed. Also if your child has a recent cold or flu, it’s better to replace the toothbrush
    to avoid reintroducing germs associated with those conditions.

Technique for brushing child’s teeth

As children cannot clean their teeth thoroughly, they need guidance. Hence parents have to
supervise children’s brushing until the age of 6-8 years.
Step 1: Brushing for kids has to be in a circular motion. Instead of just rubbing brush on teeth,
make them do circles on front and back teeth one at a time. Count the number of circles to 20
and see to it that circular motion is covering all teeth
Step 2: then angle toothbrush at 45 degrees towards the gum of upper and lower teeth and swipe
Step 3: tell the child to open their mouth and then the toothbrush should be moved gently in
back and forth motion with short strokes on back teeth
Step 4: the tip of the brush should be placed in upright position to reach behind front teeth on
top and bottom
Step 5: Brush the tongue to remove bacteria on the surface.

To get the children in routine brushing, brush your teeth at the same time as them so that they
learn by your example. This also helps to keep a check if children are using the correct brushing

Also you can have a check this way to see if your child is brushing the correct way.
The other way to get the child to brush is by playing their favorite song that they can listen to
while they brush. This way children will enjoy brushing and not think of it as a boring daily

Regular dental visits should usually start as early as six months or when a child’s first tooth
erupts or by child’s first birthday. When children are taught oral hygiene habits at an early age,
they are more likely to continue the same habit throughout adulthood. A healthy smile is a happy
smile, so help your kids to have the best possible smile by teaching them the importance of
brushing their teeth in the correct way.

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