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When Should I Start Brushing and Flossing My Child’s Teeth?

January 10, 2022

Filed under: Uncategorized — brushforkids @ 9:16 pm
father and daughter brushing their teeth

The new year has arrived, and if you’re looking to make some changes over the next 12 months, there’s no better time than to start now. Apart from any resolutions you have set for yourself, you may be wondering how you can improve your children’s oral health, too. In this article, let a pediatric dentist explain when you should start brushing and flossing your child’s teeth to ensure tooth decay and cavities don’t make an appearance in 2022.

What Age is Best for Brushing?

You might assume that brushing is only necessary once your child has all their baby teeth, but the early oral habits can begin long before that first tooth ever erupts. Wiping your little one’s gums with a clean, damp washcloth is effective in removing milk and formula after feedings. However, as soon as their gummy smile is replaced with even one small tooth, it’s time to turn to a soft-bristled toothbrush.

You will want to use only a smear of fluoride toothpaste (the size of a grain of rice) for kids under the age of three, while a pea-sized amount is ideal for kids who are old enough to spit. Because it takes time for your children to develop proper brushing techniques, you’ll need to assist them in this process until they are comfortable doing it on their own. Even then, you’ll still want to supervise. By angling the brush at 45 degrees, you can brush back and forth along all surfaces before turning it vertically to get those teeth located in the front of the mouth. Make sure you do not forget about your child’s tongue, as it can harbor bad bacteria that cause bad breath.

The total amount of time dedicated to brushing should be about two minutes twice a day.

When Should You Incorporate Flossing?

Once all of your child’s baby teeth have erupted, and you notice they are beginning to touch, it is time to start the flossing process. Because maneuvering dental floss in such a small area can be difficult, you may want to use floss picks or a water flosser (i.e., Waterpik).

Bacteria can easily form and spread between teeth, causing decay and gum disease. Flossing may not be easy at first, but it’s important you teach your child why it is necessary and how to do it properly. Your child’s pediatric dentist will be happy to go over the proper technique during a regular dental checkup and cleaning to ensure gums do not become sore as a result.

Your child’s smile is destined for a healthier future when you start brushing and flossing habits early on. Make 2022 the year of better oral health for you and your little one.

About the Author
At Brush Pediatric Dentistry, Dr. Mira Albert is a pediatric dentist who leads a team of experts who make it possible for little ones to enjoy visiting the dentist. Offering a fun and exciting environment filled with kid-friendly amenities, we believe in helping children become enthusiastic about oral hygiene while keeping parents informed of ways they can work to improve and help their children maintain healthier teeth and gums at home. If you are looking for tips or suggestions to ensure your child’s smile is better protected year-round, contact us at (630) 504-2223.

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