Teach Your Child Effective Toothbrushing Technique
According to research, over 40% of children have cavities by the time they enter kindergarten. Poorly-cared-for baby teeth may cause infection, pain, and problems eating and speaking. They can also affect the permanent teeth when they erupt. You can help your child avoid these dental problems by teaching good tooth-brushing habits and technique.
By ages 2 to 3, children should be introduced to the MOI brushing technique: Clean the
masticatory (chewing) surfaces with simple horizontal (scrubbing) movements; the outer surfaces with more difficult circular movements; and the inside surfaces with small up-and-down movements.
Let your child watch you brush your teeth. Then help him to try it. At first, you can hold the child on your lap and brush his or her teeth with the MOI technique, explaining what you are doing each step of the way.
Use a soft-bristled, child’s toothbrush with a pea-sized amount of fluoride toothpaste. Show your child how to hold the toothbrush at a 45º angle to the gum line and brush gently.
When your child is ready to brush without your assistance, he or she may not have the manual dexterity to clean all teeth thoroughly, so up to around age 6, give your child’s teeth a final brush after he or she has finished.
Show your child how to rinse and spit, reminding him or her not to swallow toothpaste. Ingesting too much fluoride can result in spots on even the permanent teeth.
Teach your child to brush at least twice daily. Each brushing should last at least two minutes and cover every region of the mouth. Children tend to focus on the more visible front teeth only, so be sure to remind him or her to brush in back.
A best practice is to brush along with your child until he or she is about 8 years old and shows proficiency. You can use a timer or a two-minute song and make a game of exploring every part of your mouth.
Establishing regular brushing habits at an early age can help your child maintain good oral health for years to come. For tips about how to accomplish this important oral health care task, talk to Dr. Jared and his clinical team when you bring your child in for an office visit at KiDDS Dental.
Click here to schedule an appointment with Dr. Jared. Or give us a call at (509)-891-7070.