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How should you brush your child's teeth?

How to keep the baby teeth clean when they first erupt:

Parents should start brushing their baby’s teeth as soon as the first tooth erupts with a wet soft gauze or clean towel to remove soft plaque. Once a few of the baby teeth have come through you can begin to use a soft children’s toothbrush. From 18 months old a kids low-fluoride toothpaste should be used. Parents should help their child with brushing between 3-6 years they have a go themselves. Continue to supervise from 6 years on as they practice and get better at brushing independently.

Steps on how to brush your child's teeth correctly:

  1. Place a smear or pea-sized amount of low-fluoride toothpaste onto a soft children’s toothbrush.

  2. Sit the child in your lap, facing away from you, or stand behind for taller children. Tilt your child’s head back against your body so you can see all surfaces of the teeth.

  3. Angle the bristles of the toothbrush towards the gum at a 45 degree angle. Move the brush in gentle circles to clean the outer sides of the teeth and gums.

  4. Brush in gentle circles on the inside of the teeth and gums.

  5. Brush back and forward on the chewing surface of the teeth.

  6. After brushing, let your child spit out the remaining toothpaste.

  7. Get your child to look in the mirror as they brush, or as you brush together, to make sure they brush all surfaces of the teeth.

Further tips:

  • Toothpaste should not be used until they are 18 months old (just use water). After that, a kids low-fluoride toothpaste should be used.

  • Flossing is a good idea to start when the teeth begin to contact one another.

  • Brush twice daily – in the morning and especially before bedtime.

  • Use a toothbrush with a small head, soft bristles and a handle design that is easy for little hands to hold.

  • Parents are encouraged to look in their children’s mouth regularly for signs of tooth decay including white spots along the gum line of teeth or visible holes.

  • Replace toothbrushes every 3 to 4 months.

  • Book a visit with our Oral Health Therapist Maviel to have an oral hygiene instruction session and children’s check up.

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