Regular brushing is crucial to maintaining strong, healthy teeth, and developing that habit while you’re still young is vital for forming healthy oral hygiene habits. Now that you’re older with your own children, you can set them up for success with this step-by-step brushing guide by Dr. Meg Ling!
- Your Guidance: As an adult, you know more about proper brushing and oral hygiene than your kids do! Dr. Meg suggests brushing your kids’ teeth until they are about 10 or 11 years old. You wouldn’t expect your 3-year-old to keep their bedroom spotless, so don’t expect the same with their teeth.
- The Right Tools: Look for soft-bristled brushes that won’t be too harsh on your child’s teeth and gums. Select a fluoridated toothpaste to protect your child’s teeth from decay, and find a flossing system that works best for you and your child. (Fluoridated mouthwash can be a great alternative to fluoridated toothpaste!)
- All Surfaces: We are all pros when it comes to brushing the front surfaces of our teeth. Unfortunately, this means we neglect the sides and back of our teeth. Teach your children about the sneaky places plaque hides — and how easy it is to clean up — by brushing the front and back of the teeth. In addition, don’t forget to floss to hit the remaining sides.
- Gums and Tongue: In the midst of all this tooth-surface talk, people tend to forget about other important components in the mouth. Scrub the gum line softly and scrape the tongue with the brush, too. These surfaces see just as much plaque action as your teeth, and they are often neglected.
- Time’s Up: The quality of good brushing is just as important as the quantity! At a minimum, you should brush a toddler’s teeth for 50–90 seconds, but the ideal brushing time is about two minutes. This gives you optimal time for each tooth while properly cleaning the whole mouth.
Learning the proper toothbrushing techniques doesn’t have to be rocket science, but it does take practice to master. Give us a call or schedule an appointment to learn more about proper brushing care for you and your child.