Brushing & Flossing Tips

Brushing

Parents should start brushing their children's teeth as soon as the teeth begin to appear. When brushing your child's teeth, use a soft-bristled brush with a pea-sized, or smaller, amount of fluoride toothpaste. The brushing cleans the teeth, not the amount of toothpaste.

When you brush your teeth, move the brush in small circular motions to reach food particles that may be under your gum line. Hold the toothbrush at an angle and brush slowly and carefully, covering all areas between the teeth and the surface of each tooth. It will take you several minutes to thoroughly brush your teeth. Brush up on the lower teeth, down on the upper teeth and the outside, inside and chewing surface of all of your front and back teeth. Brush your tongue and the roof of your mouth before you rinse.

Brush your teeth two times daily for two minutes to avoid the accumulation of food particles and plaque.

We recommend that you give your child a new toothbrush every three to four months or whenever the bristles appear worn or if your child gets sick. A worn toothbrush may not clean your child's teeth effectively.

Flossing

As long as your child's teeth are touching, they need to be flossed. Most often children's back teeth are touching and it is in these teeth that we frequently see cavities. Your child will need your help to floss and should be taught at a young age to be in the habit of flossing once every day.

Pull a small length of floss from the dispenser. Wrap the ends of the floss tightly around your middle fingers. Guide the floss between all teeth to the gum line, pulling out any food particles or plaque. Unwrap clean floss from around your fingers as you go, so that you have used the floss from beginning to end when you finish. Floss behind all of your back teeth. Floss on a stick is also available and may be an easier alternative for your child.

When you first begin flossing, your gums may bleed a little. If the bleeding does not go away after the first few times, let a staff member know at your next appointment.