Children’s hands and mouths are different than adults. They need to use toothbrushes designed for children. Both adults and children should use brushes with soft, rounded bristles for gentle cleaning. Change to a new brush about every three months.
Wipe infant’s teeth gently with a moist, soft cloth or gauze square containing Xylitol http://www.spiffies.com. As babies grow, use a child’s toothbrush with a small, pea-sized dab of toothpaste. Please do not use a fluoridated toothpaste with your child until they reach two years of age.
By age two or three begin to teach your child to brush. You will still need to brush where they miss. Dentists and hygienists often advise children to use a gentle, short, back and forth motion to remove plaque. When children are older, they can switch to this method.
Hold the brush at a 45 degrees angle towards teeth and gums. Move brush back and forth with short strokes, about a half tooth wide.
Once your child's teeth begin erupting, you can begin cleaning them by wiping them with a moist washcloth. As your child gets more teeth, you can begin to use a soft child's toothbrush. You should use just a pea-sized amount of toothpaste (such as Baby OraGel or Baby Bling, a Xylitol containing toothpaste dispensed by our office) until your child is able to spit it out (too much fluoride can leave white blemishes on their permanent teeth).
For most toddlers, getting them to brush their teeth can be quite a challenge.
Some suggestions for making tooth brushing less of a battle can include:
To help your child understand the importance of brushing, it can be sometimes fun and helpful to let them eat or drink something that will “stain“ their teeth temporarily and then brush them clean. You can also purchase disclosing tablets from the drug store for them to chew that will disclose those areas on the teeth that contain plaque.
It is a very good idea to create a "tooth brushing routine". And stick to the same routine each day. Brush your child’s teeth once in the morning and just before they go to sleep.
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