Tooth brushing is one of the easiest methods of cavity prevention. Clean your child’s teeth as soon as they begin to emerge into the mouth. You may use a soft infant toothbrush or wipe them with a small cloth or specially designed tooth wipes. When your child has eight teeth, begin brushing with a small soft bristle brush twice daily. You may use a “smear” or “rice -size” amount of fluoridated toothpaste. When you brush your child’s teeth, move the brush in small circulars motions to reach food particles that may be under the gum line. Also brush the tongue.
Brush your preschooler’s teeth and supervise the brushing and flossing of school-age children until they reach an age when their fine motors skills allow them to be effective in cleaning their teeth independently, usually around 8 years of age. They should brush at least twice daily for approximately two minutes.
As soon as the bristles start to wear down or fray, replace the toothbrush with a new one, usually no longer than three months. If your child develops a throat or mouth infection, remember to replace the brush after 24 hours on antibiotics.
For areas between the teeth that the toothbrush can’t reach, dental floss is used to remove food particles and plaque. When the teeth begin to contact each other use floss either by wrapping the floss around your fingers or using various flossing devices available. When you begin to floss your child’s teeth their gums may bleed a little. This should stop after a few days of flossing. It is important to floss your teeth every day.