Techniques for Cleaning Toddlers Teeth
Despite the protests and the fight your child may give you, it is extremely important that you assist in brushing their teeth. Their coordination skills are not developed enough to properly do this until they reach 8 years of age.
How to Use an Electric Toothbrush
How to Use a Manual Toothbrush
How to Floss
To best do this:
- Brush their teeth from when they first appear
- Clean their teeth while they lie on your lap or across your knee.
- For older children stand behind them
- Small head toothbrushes with soft bristles are recommended
- Each family member should have their own toothbrush
- Replace the toothbrush when worn
- Brush all surfaces, insides, outsides and tops of the teeth
- Brush twice a day
- Jiggling or circular motion is best... avoid "scrubbing"
Start a program today to avoid later problems. You should laugh a lot and make it fun. First allow them to "brush" their own teeth. Finish by brushing your child's teeth yourself . The best position for you (as well as conditioning them for the dentist) is to "be the dentist" and stand/kneel behind the child sitting or lying in a chair
Alternatively, have your child brush their favourite doll's teeth before you brush theirs. Make it clear that you need to follow up by brushing their teeth correctly.
Use only a pea-size amount of toothpaste on their toothbrush as larger amounts tend to create excessive foam making it more difficult for your child to brush.
A low fluoridated "kids"toothpaste is recommended unless your child isn't exposed to refined carbohydrates, sugar, honey, dried fruit or fruit juices more than once a month or so (i.e a truly "natural "diet....see Prevention/diet/Fluoride link for further information)