Children’s hands and mouths are different than adult’s. 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.
Infants/babies: Wipe the baby’s gums with a clean, wet, gauze pad or washcloth after each feeding. This removes food particles that can harm erupting teeth and helps the child grow accustomed to having his or her mouth cleaned. Begin brushing your baby’s teeth with water as soon as the first tooth appears. Continue cleaning and massaging the gums and all other areas that remain toothless. Replace the toothbrush when the bristles become worn or frayed. Fluoridated toothpaste can be used as soon as the child’s first tooth erupts. Use the “size of a piece of rice” from ages 1-3 and then the “size of a pea” from ages 3-6.
Toddler: 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 them understand the importance of brushing, it can be sometimes fun and helpful to let him eat or drink something that will ‘stain’ his teeth temporarily, and then let him brush them clean.
It can also be a good idea to create a “tooth brushing routine” And stick to the same routine each day.
Child: Begin to teach your child to brush. First, allow your child to practice brushing while being supervised. Then, finish each tooth brushing session with the adult caregiver brushing the child’s teeth. This will ensure that the majority of the plaque (soft debris) is removed from the child’s teeth.
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