Brush Up on Tooth Brushing

Dr. Hines and her team here at Hines Little Smiles offer a range of services to ensure that your children’s smiles stay bright and healthy. However, alongside the cleanings, check-ups, and preventive pediatric dentistry services we offer (like dental sealants), ensuring an excellent dental care routine at home is crucial. No part of this routine is more important than how your child brushes their teeth. Here are some tips to ensure they’re doing it in the healthiest way possible.

The best ways to brush

First of all, teach your kids to hold the toothbrush the correct way, gripping the handle to hold it at a 45-degree angle when they raise the bristles to their mouth. To make sure they get the best clean, they should brush in circles or follow an elliptical (oval) motion. When brushing, make sure that they are reaching both the outside and insight of their teeth, the areas between the teeth, chewing areas, and the tongue.

Where to brush

To keep it thorough, your child needs to start at one area of the mouth, focusing on one or two teeth, moving along each tooth as they cover the entire mouth. Horizontal and vertical brushing aren’t as effective, and they can even make the gum line recede, exposing the root, which can lead to tenderness and sensitivity.

How long to brush

To make sure that your child has brushed their teeth as thoroughly as possible, you should make sure they do it for between 2 and 4 minutes. You can time them as they do this, or you can play a song for them, as most songs tend to fit between these lengths. It’s vital to make sure your children aren’t rushed when brushing their teeth.

How often should you brush your teeth?

Your children should brush their teeth for the whole 2-4 minutes twice a day, once in the morning and at night. They should also brush for a shorter period of time, up to a minute, after a meal.

Taking care of your toothbrush

Your child’s toothbrush should be small enough to reach all of the teeth without too much effort, and there are those with easy grips to make sure they can wield it effectively. Soft, nylon bristles with round ends are recommended, too. After using the toothbrush, rinse and dry it to stop bacteria growing on it and make sure you replace it every three months.

What about toddlers?

Whatever their age, you should start brushing your child’s teeth as soon as they start appearing. There are toothbrushes and kinds of toothpaste specifically made to be safe for toddlers, too, so be sure to use the right equipment.

You must teach your children good tooth brushing techniques now. The sooner they get into the habit, the more easily they will keep up with it for the rest of their life. Give your kids the right approach to dental care and make sure they’re following the tips above. Contact us to schedule an appointment today!

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A dentist demonstrates to a child patient a large dental model for educational purposes during a consultation.