How to Teach Your Child to Brush His Teeth

How to Teach Your Child to Brush His Teeth

November 27, 2019 8 By Stanley Isaacs


Getting kids to brush their teeth for
two minutes, two times a day, can be a challenge. But teaching them to take care
of their teeth can help instill a lifetime of healthy habits. It may help
to encourage your child that tooth brushing is fun and helps
fight the bad guys — like sticky plaque. There are a lot of videos, games and apps
online to make brushing more fun. Try letting your child pick out his own
toothbrush and toothpaste. After all, there are a lot of child-sized
toothbrushes with soft bristles, in favorite colors and cartoon characters.
Fluoride toothpastes come in a variety of flavors, colors, and some even have
sparkles. Just look for toothbrushes and
toothpaste with the ADA Seal of Acceptance to be sure that they do what they
say. Start to brush your child’s teeth as
soon as they appear. For children younger than three, use a child-size toothbrush and
just a small amount of fluoride toothpaste about the size of a grain of
rice. When your child is between the ages of
three and six, use a pea-sized amount of toothpaste. To begin brushing, place the
toothbrush at a 45 degree angle to his gums and gently move the brush back and
forth in short tooth wide strokes. Brush the outer surfaces, the inner
surfaces and the chewing surfaces of the teeth. To clean the inside surfaces of
the front teeth tilt the brush vertically and make
several up and down strokes. Once you are comfortable with letting
him brush on his own, usually around the age of six, supervise
that he is using the right amount of toothpaste and spitting it out. To help
keep your child focused while brushing, set a timer…play a favorite song or
video for two minutes. Make a reward chart and add a sticker
for every time he brushes for two minutes two times a day. Once brushing becomes a
daily habit, it will be much easier to get your child
to brush. To learn more about taking care of your teeth and gums, visit mouthhealthy.org.