Moms and dads, here are five things you need to know about brushing your little one’s teeth.
1. When should I start brushing my child’s teeth?
You should start brushing your child’s teeth when the first baby tooth erupts (grows in the mouth).
2. What’s the right way to brush my child’s teeth?
The best way to brush your child’s teeth is in a circular motion with a soft toothbrush of age-appropriate size. All surfaces of all teeth should be brushed to help dislodge food and reduce bacteria plaque levels.
3. How much toothpaste should my child use? Should I use a fluoride toothpaste?
Fluoride in the right amount is safe and effective in preventing and controlling tooth decay; and fluoride toothpaste is recommended twice daily.
A smear amount of fluoride toothpaste should be used for children under age 3, while children 3-8 years old should use a pea-sized amount.
4. When can my child start brushing on his/her own?
Your child can start brushing their own teeth when they can hold a brush well. However, this does not mean that they will brush well and there is no specific age when a child will do this. Supervision and assistance is needed for all children and can in some instances, continue into adolescence.
5. What can I do if my child refuse to brush his/her teeth?
Many young children will give parents a hard time with brushing but it’s important to persevere through the process because a healthy mouth is much better than the consequences of tooth decay and gum disease. While visiting your pediatric dentist, they can demonstrate how this can be done to make the process quicker while still efficient.