Brushing your child’s teeth is an essential part of their oral hygiene routine to keep their teeth healthy. Here’s a step-by-step guide on how to brush your child’s teeth:
Materials you’ll need:
A child-sized toothbrush with soft bristles.
A pea-sized amount of fluoride toothpaste (use fluoride toothpaste only if your child is old enough to spit it out).
A stool or step stool if your child can’t reach the sink comfortably.
A cup for rinsing (optional).
Choose the right time: Brush your child’s teeth at least twice a day – once in the morning and once before bedtime.
Prepare the toothbrush: Apply a pea-sized amount of fluoride toothpaste to the toothbrush. Fluoride helps strengthen teeth and prevent tooth decay.
Position your child: Have your child stand in front of a mirror or sit on a stool if needed. Make sure they can see what you’re doing.
Hold the toothbrush: Hold the toothbrush like a pencil, and show your child how to do the same.
Outer surfaces: Start by brushing the outer surfaces of your child’s teeth. Angle the brush at a 45-degree angle towards the gum line. Use gentle, circular motions.
Inner surfaces: Then, brush the inner surfaces in the same manner.
Chewing surfaces: For the chewing surfaces, use a back-and-forth motion.
Front teeth: For the front teeth, use an up-and-down motion.
Tongue and roof of the mouth: You can also gently brush your child’s tongue and the roof of their mouth to remove bacteria and freshen their breath, but be very gentle.
Brush for two minutes: Aim to brush for at least two minutes to ensure you’ve covered all surfaces thoroughly.
Spit, don’t rinse: Teach your child to spit out the toothpaste after brushing but not to rinse with water immediately. This allows the fluoride to remain on their teeth for added protection.
Clean the toothbrush: Rinse the toothbrush thoroughly and store it in an upright position to air dry.
Monitor and assist: Depending on your child’s age and ability, you may need to assist or supervise their brushing until they can do it effectively on their own, usually around age 6 or 7.
Regular check-ups: Schedule regular dental check-ups for your child to monitor their oral health and receive professional cleanings and advice.
Remember to make brushing fun and part of your child’s daily routine. Sing a song, use a timer, or let them choose their toothbrush and toothpaste to make it an enjoyable experience. Good oral hygiene habits developed in childhood can set the foundation for a lifetime of healthy teeth and gums.