By teaching children to brush their teeth properly we are equipping them with some of the essential skills they need to take care of their dental health. Good habits aren’t formed overnight but they can be built up with frequent encouragement and praise.
We recommend you talk to your children about the benefits of twice-daily brushing and work with them to develop a good brushing and cleaning routine. Discussing dental health from a young age will help to reinforce these routines and give them the best start.
Advice on brushing changes as the child grows older, so when you visit us for an examination at Contemporary Dental we will talk through the routines that are most appropriate based on age and dental health, and gradually increase your child’s dental confidence.
For babies and toddlers
We recommend starting a dental routine from an early age, so even before the teeth break through it can be helpful to rub the gums with an age-appropriate toothpaste.
As soon as the first teeth begin to show, give them a quick brush twice a day with a smear of fluoride toothpaste, working your way gently but firmly around the outside and inside of their teeth. The fluoride will strengthen the tooth enamel and make it more resistant to attack.
From around the age of seven, children should be learning to brush their own teeth. At this age most children will still need supervision to make sure they are brushing for the recommended two minutes and to check they can reach the different areas of their mouth including harder to reach areas when they brush.
They may want to try a smartphone app that uses their favourite music or characters to count the two minutes for them. When they are finished brushing children should spit out the excess toothpaste but there’s no need to rinse with water. When toothpaste remains on the teeth they absorb more fluoride which can make the teeth more resistant to decay.
As children grow older they learn to take more responsibility for their own dental health. The examination will change slightly to reflect their growing independence and during the appointment we might even give them disclosing tablets to try at home so they can identify the areas they need to work on. Seeing the evidence with their own eyes helps to highlight the areas they need to pay more attention to. This might also be a good time to try an electric toothbrush with an integrated two-minute timer to make sure they are spending enough time brushing their teeth.