Children don’t have the hand coordination to brush their teeth properly until they are around 8 years old. For this reason it is best to have an adult to assist with brushing to ensure their teeth are clean. Perhaps take it in turns with your child so they can practice the correct technique.
Teeth should be brushed twice daily with a fluoride toothpaste, ideally in the morning after breakfast and at night before bed. A small, soft bristled brush is ideal for children. Teeth should be brushed for a minimum of two minutes. Using a timer is a great way to achieve this.
How to brush your child’s teeth:
- Prep your child’s toothbrush with a pea-sized amount of fluoride toothpaste. For children under 18 months, don’t use toothpaste. A toothbrush and water is sufficient.
- Find a comfortable position. You may have your child stand on a step stool or sit on your lap, ideally in front of a mirror. This lets your child see what you’re doing.
- Using small circular motions, brush all sides of each tooth and the gums. Brush backwards and forwards on all chewing surfaces. It is important to brush gently, as vigorous brushing can damage the teeth.
- After you’ve finished brushing, have your child spit out any leftover toothpaste but don’t rinse. This will act as a mini fluoride treatment.
- Rinse their toothbrush and put it somewhere clean to dry.
- Teeth can be flossed regularly once two teeth are touching. Ask your child to lie down and open wide, and floss between all teeth that are touching. For upper teeth, have the child extend their head right back.
For information on how to look after your children’s teeth http://centenarynannies.com.au/childrens-teeth/