In this article we will be providing you with some of the basics of children’s teeth brushing along with some helpful tips.  Tooth decay happens faster in children than it does in adults.  That is why it is so critical to establish a healthy tooth brushing regimen for your children as soon as possible.

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When?

Brushing should begin as soon as the first tooth starts to show.  Usually baby teeth - http://www.nhs.uk/Livewell/dentalhealth/Pages/Careofkidsteeth.aspx will make their appearance at about the six month mark.  By two years old, all baby teeth are usually visible.  The first adult teeth for a child will start to appear behind his or her baby teeth at around age six.  This is when the first baby teeth start falling out as well.

How?

A soft-bristled child’s toothbrush should be used, along with a small dab of toothpaste suggests UK dentist Hampstead Ortho - http://hampsteadortho.co.uk/ .  Brush thoroughly yet gently, making sure that you cover all of the teeth.  Let your child brush his or her own teeth.  However, after they are done, brush them again to ensure that the back teeth get thoroughly clean.  One useful tip is to brush your child’s teeth from behind while cradling his or her head.  That might help to ensure that you reach the bottom and top rows.

Tips For Children’s Teeth Brushing

1.Choosing the right toothbrush: Choose a soft-bristled toothbrush that has been designed to brush a child’s or infant’s teeth.

2.How to hold the toothbrush: If your child is having a hard time holding the toothbrush in his or her hand, place the handle inside a tennis ball to make it thicker.  You can also try strapping the toothbrush handle to your child’s hand using Velcro, a hair band or wide rubber band.You can also find toothbrushes that have thick handles at discount and retail stores.

3.Teach your child how to properly brush their teeth:The process should be broken down into small steps so that your child understands and is able to practice them. If necessary, ask your dental hygienist, dentist, early childhood specialist or occupational therapist for help. Another thing you can do is put your hand over your child’s hand to help guide the toothbrush while your child is brushing his or her teeth.

4.Use toothpaste that has fluoride in it:Make sure it is one that feels good in your child’s mouth and that tastes okay to him or her.  The toothpaste should always be placed on the toothbrush by an adult.

5.For children under 3 years old: Use flouride toothpaste, but only a small smear about the size of one rice grain/

6.For children 3 to 6 years old: Use a pea-sized amount of fluoride toothpaste.

7.For children who are unable to spit: Ask the child to tilt her or his mouth down. That way the toothpaste will dribble out into a washcloth, cup or sink. Fluoride toothpaste is intended to be swished and not swallowed. So be sure to watch or help your child while brushing.  Once your child is old enough, have her or him spit the toothpaste out after they are finished brushing their teeth.

8.How to position your child:  You can position your child in many different ways in order to make him or her feel comfortable so that an adult can brush her or his teeth.

9.How to keep your child engaged while brushing:Use a counting game, short song or timer to encourage your child to brush his or her teeth for 2 minutes.